How to Add a DBA to an S-Corp

By Joe Stone

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.

Step 1

Review the requirements for registering a DBA in the state where your S-Corp was formed. For most states, this information is available from the Secretary of State's office or county clerk's office. The U.S. Small Business Administration's website provides links to state agencies providing DBA filing requirements.

Step 2

Choose a DBA name that is suitable for registration by searching an available DBA name database. For example, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office and Florida Department of State provide online search engines to review their existing DBA records to determine if a name is available. Also choose a name that does not violate DBA naming rules that typically prohibit using such words as "corporation," "incorporated," and "limited," or abbreviations of such words, as part of a DBA name.

File a DBA for your business online. Get Started Now

Step 3

Prepare the appropriate DBA registration form provided by your state or local government agency where the DBA is filed. In addition to the DBA name, the information required to complete the form will include the name and address of your S-Corp, as well as a brief description of the business activities associated with the DBA.

Step 4

File the completed form with the required governmental agency, such as the secretary of state, county clerk or, in a few states, the county court. All states charge a fee for filing the form, with the current amount typically printed on the form.

Step 5

Publish a notice regarding the filing of the DBA according to the requirements of your state. For example, California law requires that a DBA filing be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the business is located. The notice must be published for four consecutive weeks -- at least one time a week.

Step 6

Repeat the DBA filing process in every locality where your S-Corp will use the DBA, if your state requires local registration, such as with a city or county agency.

File a DBA for your business online. Get Started Now
Do You Need a DBA for Sole Proprietorship?



Related articles

How to Incorporate a Business in North Carolina

Incorporating a business in North Carolina is done by filling out the Articles of Incorporation and filing the document with the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State. The Articles of Incorporation must contain certain information, including the corporation's name and address, the registered agent's name and address, and the names and addresses of the incorporators. Additional provisions may be added, such as the names of the initial directors or the initial purpose for which the corporation is being organized, provided they comply with § 55A-2-02 of the North Carolina General Statutes.

How to File a DBA in Idaho

In Idaho, you can operate your business as a sole proprietorship -- meaning there is no legal difference between you and your business -- or under a formal business structure like a corporation or limited liability company. Whatever business structure you choose, you must operate your business under your business’s legal name unless you file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the Idaho Secretary of State.

Differences Between LLC & DBA

LLC and DBA are two acronyms commonly used to indicate important legal aspects about a business. LLC, or limited liability company, refers to a separate legal entity that is distinguishable from its owners. DBA, or doing business as, refers to a pseudonym that an owner uses to conduct business. It is important to understand the difference between the two when planning to use either as part of your business structure.


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 ...

How to Sign a Corporate Letter With a DBA

Corporations can use a fictitious business name, also known as a "doing business as" or DBA, for a variety of reasons, ...

How to Find an Owner of an LLC

A limited liability company, or LLC, is similar to a corporation in that it has a name chosen by its members, usually ...

How to Fill Out DBA Forms

DBA is short for "doing business as." Sole proprietors and even larger companies may elect to operate under DBAs or ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED