Documents Needed to Open a DBA Checking Account

By Cindy Hill

A DBA — doing business as — is a fictitious name under which an individual, partnership, limited liability company or corporation does business. A DBA can be highly beneficial for business marketing, but setting up bank accounts in the name of a DBA rather than in the legal name of the individual or entity that owns the business can be complex and require documentation proving that you have a right to use the business name.

A DBA — doing business as — is a fictitious name under which an individual, partnership, limited liability company or corporation does business. A DBA can be highly beneficial for business marketing, but setting up bank accounts in the name of a DBA rather than in the legal name of the individual or entity that owns the business can be complex and require documentation proving that you have a right to use the business name.

Sole Proprietors and General Partners

Sole proprietors and general partners who wish to do business under any name other than their own personal legal names must register their fictitious DBA name with the appropriate state or local agency as required by their state's laws. Proof of registration of the DBA name will be required to obtain an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, from the IRS. To open a DBA checking account, a sole proprietor or individuals in a general partnership will typically need to provide the bank with their EIN, business license if required in their state, general partnership agreement, if applicable, and the certificate of fictitious name registration.

File a DBA for your business online. Get Started Now

LLC

Limited liability companies, or LLCs, are member-owned business entities created by state statute. Like sole proprietorships, single-member LLCs don't need a separate tax ID, but can be registered under the Social Security number of the owner. To open a DBA checking account for an LLC, you will need either your Social Security number or the tax ID number of the business, along with any articles of organization or certificate of formation required by your state's laws. You typically will also need documentation that the business is presently in good standing and active in your state, along with the fictitious name registration certificate.

Corporations

A corporation is a legal entity separate from the individuals who form it. A corporation doing business under its own legal name does not need to file a fictitious DBA name registration, but corporations wishing to do business under a name other than the legal corporate name must file for a DBA. To open a DBA checking account for a corporation, you will typically need the tax ID number and articles or certificate of incorporation, plus a document identifying the officers if that information is not included in the articles of incorporation. For a corporation operating under a DBA, you will also need a copy of the registered fictitious name certificate.

Nonprofits

A registered nonprofit organization may qualify for favorable checking account terms at some banks, including waived annual fees and free or low-cost transactions. To open a checking account for your nonprofit organization, you will typically need to present the bank with your EIN or tax ID number, articles of organization or similar legal document, corporate charter or other document that lists the organization's authorized officers and representatives, and identification and Social Security numbers for anyone who will be authorized to write checks on the account. Like for-profit business entities, nonprofits can operate under a DBA if they registered their fictitious name as required by state law. To open a checking account under the DBA name, the nonprofit officers would have to present proof of that fictitious name filing along with any other required nonprofit organization paperwork.

File a DBA for your business online. Get Started Now
How to Set Up a DBA in California

References

Related articles

What Does DBA Mean in Business?

In the business world, DBA - which stands for "doing business as" - is a vitally important acronym to know. It signifies that an individual or company is doing business under a fictitious name. One common example would be a chain store franchise, operated under a commercial name familiar to everyone but actually run by an individual or firm owning the local franchise. State laws govern the creation and use of DBA fictitious names.

What Do You Need to Register a Business Name?

For many customers, your business name is the first point of reference they have with regard to your company. Leave a good impression, and you could be well on your way to making a lifelong customer. Give a bad impression, and that person might never give your business a chance. How you register the name of your business depends on the type of name you're registering.

Do You Need a Sole Proprietorship Before Registering a DBA?

Operating a business as a sole proprietorship has very few formal requirements. Typically, all an entrepreneur has to do is start running the business under his own name to effectively be in business as a sole proprietor. However, some types of businesses in regulated industries, such as law, medicine and cosmetology, require a state occupational or professional business license before they can begin operations. Regardless of their legal structure, businesses often choose to use fictitious trade names for marketing purposes.

Related articles

Define DBA

A DBA, short for "doing business as," refers to the name a company or individual uses when it operates under ...

Do I Need an EIN if I Am a DBA?

As a business owner, you may operate under a "doing business as" or DBA, which differs from the legal, ...

How to Register a DBA Name So No One Else Can Use It

Companies and individuals can operate under fictitious, or assumed, names called DBAs. DBA stands for "doing ...

How to Transfer an EIN to a New DBA

"Doing Business As" names and Employer Identification Numbers serve important, yet distinct, purposes in ...

Browse by category