How to File for a DBA Recording Studio

By Louis Kroeck

Filing for a DBA means that an individual or an entity is, "doing business as" some other assumed name. Filing for a DBA is generally called filing for a fictitious name and the process for obtaining a fictitious name is the same for a recording studio as it is for any other type of entity. If you are operating your recording studio as a sole proprietor, you will need to file for a fictitious name in order to operate under a business name. But if you already have a registered business entity, you may operate your recording studio under the name of the entity rather than file for a fictitious name.

Filing for a DBA means that an individual or an entity is, "doing business as" some other assumed name. Filing for a DBA is generally called filing for a fictitious name and the process for obtaining a fictitious name is the same for a recording studio as it is for any other type of entity. If you are operating your recording studio as a sole proprietor, you will need to file for a fictitious name in order to operate under a business name. But if you already have a registered business entity, you may operate your recording studio under the name of the entity rather than file for a fictitious name.

Why Register for a DBA

Sole proprietors require fictitious names so they can operate under a business name other than their given name. Even a recording studio name such as, "Bolton Brothers Recording Studio" will require a fictitious name registration. On the other hand, corporations, limited liability companies and other entities may use fictitious names when they desire to operate under a name other than the name of their registered entity.

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Selecting a Name

In order to file for a fictitious name, you will need to select an appropriate name for your recording studio. You should avoid selecting a name that is already in use by another company as you could be engaging in trademark infringement. You should conduct a trademark search in federal and state databases in order to determine if your fictitious name is already being used by someone else. You should also consider hiring an attorney or a legal service to conduct a more in-depth background search on your desired name.

Considerations

A fictitious name is registered with the state in which your recording studio resides. Not all states require registration of a fictitious name, some states merely give the recording studio owner the option of filing a trade name with the secretary of state. Check with your state's secretary of state or department of state office in order to determine the proper procedure for assuming a fictitious name.

State Procedures

As fictitious names are filed with your state government, the procedure will vary in most states. In general, fictitious names are usually registered with the county clerk's office or the department of state. You will likely be required to pay a small fee in order to assume a fictitious name for your recording studio. Additionally, some states require that you publish your intent to use your fictitious name in a well circulated newspaper prior to assuming the name.

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How to Add DBA to an LLC

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DBA Qualifications

A person or entity can always operate a business under its legal name. However, many wish to operate under a fictitious name or a doing-business-as name. All states allow DBAs. The requirements for using a DBA differ among states, but there are generally few barriers to qualify to use one.

Define DBA

A DBA, short for "doing business as," refers to the name a company or individual uses when it operates under a different name than its legally registered name. Most states require you to register your DBA with either your county clerk’s office or with your state government, depending on where you're doing business. DBAs are also called "assumed names," "trade names," or "fictitious names."

Do I Have to Use LLC in the Business Name?

The limited liability company, or LLC, is a creature of state law. As such, it is subject to the laws of the states in which it is organized and registered. All states have some requirements for the name of an LLC and generally have searchable online databases that allow you to determine whether your name has already been registered.

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