How to Place an Ad in a Paper When Creating a New DBA

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

How to Place an Ad in a Paper When Creating a New DBA

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

When you create a "doing business as" (DBA) name for a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation, you must follow state and local procedures for doing so. As part of legally registering a DBA, some states' and individual counties' laws have publication requirements. Publishing a legal notice about your business's intention to use a fictitious name notifies the general public that the trade name for the business is different from the legal name.

Man smiling and holding newspaper while sitting in restaurant

If your jurisdiction's laws include a publication requirement, check with your state or local government for specific rules and guidance. The steps for placing an ad in a paper for a new DBA provided below are generally applicable, although they can vary from one jurisdiction to another.

1. Obtain a list of approved newspapers.

If you are not sure what your state or local jurisdiction's publication requirements entail, check with your local business authority. In some cases, business owners with new DBAs must publish notice in a newspaper with daily or weekly circulation. In other situations, business owners may only use certain legal newspapers.

2. Understand publication timeframes and requirements.

You also need to know whether it is sufficient to publish a single notice of your new DBA name or whether you must publish a notice for several consecutive days or weeks. This requirement is different in different jurisdictions.

3. Submit required information for your ad and pay applicable fees.

After identifying an approved newspaper, determine what information the publisher needs to create your ad. Necessary information can vary but typically includes the legal name of your business, the business address, the DBA name, and your name and address (if different from the legal business name and address).

In most cases, approved newspapers are familiar with DBA publication requirements, so you can simply give the publisher a copy of the DBA application or registration form. Some newspaper publishers provide online submission tools.

You are also responsible for paying the publication fees to run your ad. These fees typically depend on how long the ad will run, the publication schedule, and the newspaper's current rate per word or per line published.

4. File the affidavit of publication with the state or other business authority.

If your state or local jurisdiction requires publication for DBA names, the state or local agency that regulates businesses needs proof of publication documenting that your ad ran in an approved newspaper for the required number of days or weeks. After you arrange for publication of the notice as required, the publisher provides a document called an Affidavit of Publication. If the publisher sends the original affidavit directly to you, you must forward it to your state or local business authority. In some cases, publishers send proof of publication directly to the business authority.

5. Subsequent publication requirements may apply if you change your DBA name.

Finally, after meeting your jurisdiction's original publication requirements for a new DBA name, you may have subsequent requirements. For example, if you stop using a DBA name or if you change your DBA name to something different, your state or local government may impose additional notification requirements. As the business owner, you are responsible for meeting these obligations.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.