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 “ABC Company, LLC” wants to do business as “Best Hot Dogs in Town” then the owners may have to file a DBA.
When you need a DBA
Generally speaking, South Carolina does not require the registration of a DBA. That said, there are a number of very good reasons to register a DBA. The company will be able to open bank accounts under the trade name, receive payment to the trade name in business transactions, and it helps if you want to get a federal trademark for your business name.
Setting up a DBA in South Carolina
Filing for a DBA begins with a search to see if the name you want is available. Furthermore, corporate names must contain a corporate abbreviation of some kind, e.g. "Inc." or "incorporated," and must not imply a corporate purpose other than that found in the corporation's articles of incorporation.
South Carolina DBA Forms
There are a number of forms available on the Secretary of State website that relate to filing a DBA. There are separate forms for corporations, LLCs, not-for-profits, and foreign corporations, and filers should make sure they select the appropriate form.
South Carolina DBA Filing & Registration
The DBA paperwork typically asks about the company’s current name, its physical address, who runs the company, the proposed new trade name, and details about what kind of business the company performs.
Getting a trade name registered by filing a DBA doesn’t change how your company is taxed.
When you are ready to file a DBA, LegalZoom can help. We can search for available names for you, file the paperwork, and even get you in touch with an attorney that can give you specific advice.