What is a DBA?
If a business wants to do business with a name that is different from the name used to form the business, it must file the new name (called a trade name). This is often called filing for a DBA, or doing business as. For example, if “Frank’s Hot Dogs LLC” wants to do business as “Best Hot Dogs in Town” then the owners have to file a DBA.
When you need a DBA
North Dakota law requires any business operating under an assumed name, trade name, or a name different from its legal name, to formally file for a DBA designation.
Even though it is the law, there are great reasons to file for a DBA anyway. A DBA allows you to open a bank account in the other trade name, recieve payment to the other name, and assists with filing for a federal trademark.
Setting up a DBA in North Dakota
The DBA filing process begins with an name search, to see if the name you want to use is already registered. The search can be conducted here.
When selecting a name it is important for businesses to avoid names that are confusingly similar to those already registered in North Dakota. Furthermore, businesses should avoid using a name that misrepresents the nature of the business, or which purports to be a governmental or quasi-governmental organization of some kind.
North Dakota DBA forms
Filers for a North Dakota DBA can go here to fill out the relevant form. That said, a general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, and limited liability limited partnership will be required by law to complete a Fictitious Name Certificate instead, which can be found by contacting the Secretary of State.
North Dakota DBA filing & registration
Filers for a DBA in North Dakota will need to provide their name, the principal place of business, the trade name to be used in the dBA, and the general nature of the business.
A federal tax ID or the social security number of the owner or owners will also need to be provided. For additional instructions, filers should carefully read the instructions appended to the form linked above.
Getting a trade name registered by filing a DBA doesn’t change how your company is taxed.
When you are ready to get a DBA, LegalZoom can help. We can help you search for a business name, file the paperwork, register for a trademark, and even get you in touch with a business attorney to answer specific questions about your business.