If I have a corporation or an LLC name, do I also have to file a DBA under that name as well?
No. DBA filings are only required if you are operating a corporation or LLC under a name other than its legal name as filed with the state.

The articles of incorporation (for a corporation) or articles of organization (for an LLC) are enough for official name registration and business name transactions with financial institutions provided the entity uses its legal name. A DBA is simply a name statement registered with the state and not an official business formation like a corporation or an LLC.

To learn more and speak with a representative, please call us at (888) 381-8758.

Can someone else use my business name if I have a DBA?
Probably yes. In most states, DBAs (unlike corporations or LLCs) do not guarantee exclusive use of a name. In most cases, the state or county will file any correctly-prepared fictitious business name statement, regardless of name conflict.

To learn more and speak with a representative, please call us at (888) 381-8758.

What is the difference between a fictitious business name and a DBA "doing business as" name?
There's no difference between a fictitious business name and a DBA. A fictitious business name is often referred to as a DBA, an "assumed business name" or a "trade name".
 
LegalZoom can help you get a DBA for your business. Fill out a few questions about your business in our online questionnaire and we’ll assemble the paperwork and file it for you, if applicable.
Can I conduct business and open a bank account before my DBA has been filed?
You should not be conducting business under your fictitious business name until you have filed a DBA statement. In addition, most banks will not allow you to open a business bank account until they see proof of the filed DBA.

When you are doing business under a company name, you need a company bank account to accept payments. Banks typically restrict cashing company checks with your personal account.

Every bank is different. Most banks have policies regarding DBA statements. If you experience a bank employee who will not accept your DBA statement, you may want to try a different branch or bank. Make sure to keep the original copy for your records in case you need it for future transactions.

To learn more and speak with a representative, please call us at (888) 381-8758.

How will I know if my business name is already being used? Will LegalZoom perform a name check before filing my DBA form?
Some states do require a name check before filing a DBA. LegalZoom will conduct a name check at no extra charge if your state requires one. We will advise you if your proposed name is currently being used. You may then decide whether you wish to proceed with the filing or try a different name.

What are the publication requirements for a DBA application?
State law differs regarding DBA publication. Generally speaking, when publication is required, the DBA statement must be published once a week, in a specific newspaper that posts legal notices, for four consecutive weeks.

Publication is included in the LegalZoom filing process. LegalZoom will publish your statement for the required length of time, in the appropriate newspaper, and advise you of any final steps to take.

To learn more and speak with a representative, please call us at (888) 381-8758.
Should I obtain a Tax Identification Number for my DBA?
When you start a business, you will need to identify it with either (1) your Social Security number or (2) a tax identification number also known as an "Employer Identification Number (EIN)," or "Federal Tax Id Number (FEIN)." Most people obtain a tax identification number because it simplifies separating business and personal affairs.

LegalZoom can help you obtain your EIN. To learn more and speak with a representative, please call us at (888) 381-8758.
If I am operating a sole proprietorship under my personal name, do I need to file a DBA?
No. DBA filings are only required if you are operating a sole proprietorship or partnership under a name other than your personal legal name or last name. For example, if your name is John Smith and you are operating a plumbing business as "Superior Plumbing Services," or a partnership as "Smith & Associates Plumbing," you would need to file a DBA to conduct business. If you are a sole proprietorship, you would not need to file a DBA to legally be called "Smith's Plumbing" that business name consists of your surname in combination with words that accurately describe the business.

To learn more and speak with a representative, please call us at (888) 381-8758.