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
Utah requires a business to file for a DBA designation if it seeks to do business under a name other than its formal "legal" name. That said, there are a number of other reasons for businesses to file for a DBA, including the ability to open a bank account under that name, the ability to freely enter into contracts using that name, and the ability to instill confidence in vendors and consumers alike as to the legitimacy of the business.
Setting Up a DBA in Utah
Filing for a DBA usually begins with a search to ensure the name selected is actually available, and is not already in use. You can search the names of business entities already on file here.
Avoid names that could be perceived as fraudulent or deceptive in nature, which misrepresent the activities of the business, or which indicate that the business is a type of entity that it is not.
Remember that just because you can register a name in Utah doesn’t mean you’ve got a legal right to use that name. If, by some chance, a national restaurant chain hasn’t registered their company’s name in Utah you would be able to register that name for yourself. However, federal trademark laws would come into play and you could face a lawsuit for trademark infringement.
Utah DBA Filing and Registration
Check the Secretary of State website here for filing instructions, which include all of the relevant information they will need in order to complete the application process.
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 in Utah, LegalZoom can help you. We can search the state business name database to find conflicts, file your paperwork, and even get you in touch with an attorney to help you with specific questions.