How to Add DBA to an LLC

By Salvatore Jackson

When registering a limited liability company, or LLC, with a state business registration entity, an individual must provide a legal name for the LLC. In addition to a legal name, an LLC may also have a fictitious business name. A fictitious business name, also referred to as a “trade name,” “DBA name” or assumed name, allows an LLC to use a name other than its legal name. By using fictitious business names, one LLC can be used to operate multiple businesses. While the method of registering a fictitious business name varies by state, it generally involves filing a fictitious business name registration with either a state or county agency.

When registering a limited liability company, or LLC, with a state business registration entity, an individual must provide a legal name for the LLC. In addition to a legal name, an LLC may also have a fictitious business name. A fictitious business name, also referred to as a “trade name,” “DBA name” or assumed name, allows an LLC to use a name other than its legal name. By using fictitious business names, one LLC can be used to operate multiple businesses. While the method of registering a fictitious business name varies by state, it generally involves filing a fictitious business name registration with either a state or county agency.

Step 1

Determine if you need to file a fictitious business name registration and where it must be filed. The requirements for registering a fictitious business name vary by state. Some states, such as Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and New Mexico do not require a business to register a fictitious business name. Other states require the owners of an LLC to register a fictitious business name, but vary as to where the registration must be filed. Some states require registration with the state business registration entity, while other states require registration of a fictitious business name with the county or city government where the LLC is organized. The U.S. Department of Commerce provides a list of fictitious business name registration requirements by state (see Resources).

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Step 2

Obtain a fictitious business name registration form. The agency responsible for registering fictitious business names will generally provide a form for registering a fictitious business name, either online or in person.

Step 3

Fill out the fictitious business name registration form. While state forms for registering a fictitious business name vary, you will generally need to provide the legal name of your LLC and indicate that it is an LLC. You will need to provide the fictitious business name you wish to use. You may need to provide other personal information, such as your name and address, as well as information about your LLC, including the registered agent and office of your LLC.

Step 4

File the fictitious business name registration form. File the fictitious business name registration form with the appropriate state, county or local government agency. While state fees vary, the filing fee ranges between $10 and $50, as of 2010.

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How to Obtain a Trade Name in Pennsylvania

References

Resources

Related articles

What Is on a DBA Filing?

If you wish to operate a business under a name other than your own, you must register that name with the state agency that handles business filings -- in many states, this is the office of the Secretary of State. You must clear the name by researching similar names already in use and then file a short application that includes basic information about your business.

How to Get a Business Name Registered in the State of Mississippi

If your business will be operating in the state of Mississippi, or you are expanding into Mississippi, you must register the business with the Office of the Secretary of State. This agency will allow you to conduct an online name search to ensure your chosen business name is not already in use or to reserve the name, if desired. The business name is legally registered with the state by filing the appropriate articles of incorporation, certificate of formation or certificate of limited partnership.

How to Add a DBA to an S-Corp

A DBA is an acronym for “doing business as," and can be used by any business owner, including an S Corporation, to distinguish the business’s products and services from its competitors. Any type of trade name, fictitious name or assumed name used for a business is generally referred to as a DBA. To add a DBA to your S-Corp, you must follow the requirements of the state law where your S-Corp was formed. Most states require registration of a DBA with a government agency, with some states further requiring publication of the DBA in an approved newspaper.

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