Filing a DBA, or "doing business as" document, allows a business to operate under a different name than the name used when it was first created in Georgia. A DBA may also be referred to as a trade name, a fictitious business statement or an assumed business name. In Georgia, a DBA is referred to as a trade name, and a business that wants to use a DBA must complete and file a specific form before doing so. All businesses registered with the Georgia Secretary of State or a local county government must file a DBA form to operate under a different name, including corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships.
Locate the superior court of the Georgia county in which the company is primarily located. This information is available on the official website of the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority for an online directory of county locations.
Get an Application to Register a Business to Be Conducted Under Trade Name form from the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court in the specific county in which you will be doing business. Some counties make the form available online for download, while others require that you visit the office to obtain the form.
Complete the application form. You will need the following information: the company's name as registered with the Georgia Secretary of State or the business' local county government; the trade name -- the new name the company wants to do business under; the business type; and the names and addresses of the company's owners. The president or owner of the business must sign and date the form, and the signature must be notarized.
File the trade name application form in the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court, along with a filing fee, which varies by county. Ascertain from the clerk which newspaper the sheriff's office uses to run official notices. Ask for a copy of the form after it is filed.
Contact the county newspaper used by the Sheriff. Georgia law dictates that a business filing a trade name or DBA form must run a notice in the newspaper the county sheriff's office uses for legal advertisements at least once a week for two consecutive weeks. The notice to be published a copy of the trade name application form you filed with the court. Give the newspaper a copy of the form and ask the paper to run the notice at least once each week for the next two weeks. Pay the publication fee, which vary by newspaper.
Tips & Warnings
Failure to run the notice in the correct newspaper can invalidate the filing.
References & Resources
- Athens-Clarke County, Georgia: Trade Name Application
- Georgia Secretary of State: Frequently Asked Questions
- Habersham County, Georgia: Registering a Trade Name
- Law for Change: Georgia Trade Names
- Gwinnett County Court: Trade Name Registration General Information
- GSCCCA.org: Superior Court Clerk Directory
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