What is a DBA?
If a business wants to operate with a name that is different from the name used to form the business, it must register 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 “ABC Furniture Rental” then the owners have to file a DBA.
When you need a DBA
In Texas all corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), or out of state companies that regularly conduct business in Texas under a name other than its legal name, must file a DBA with the Secretary of State. The trade name must be filed with the county clerk office in the county where the company operates.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships need not file at the state level, but will need to file for a DBA in the relevant county clerk offices if they are using a name other than the legal name of their owners.
Setting up a DBA in Texas
Filing for a DBA begins with searching to see if a entity name is available. This can be done using the Texas corporate name database found here. Entities should also be mindful of avoiding names that are deceptive, fraudulent, already taken by others, and which could give rise to legal liability via any number of state or federal statutes.
Texas DBA Forms
Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and foreign corporate entities will need to use a state filing form.
Assumed name forms for sole proprietorships and general partnerships can be found at the various county clerk office websites.
Texas DBA Filing & Registration
Corporate, LLC, LLP and foreign entity filers will need to provide the proposed DBA to be registered, the true or legal name of the entity, the jurisdiction of organization, the address of the entity, the period during which the name will be used(maximum of 10 years), a statement as to what type of entity it is, whether the entity maintains an office in Texas, the counties where the entity conducts business, and the appropriate signature. County filings for sole proprietorships and partnerships will vary from county to county, but generally require similar information.
Getting a trade name registered by filing a DBA doesn’t change how your company is taxed.
When you want to file a DBA in Texas, LegalZoom can help. We can search the state databases for you to locate possible issues, file the paperwork on your behalf, and help you get in touch with a business attorney to answer specific questions.
This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.