How to Change From a DBA to an LLC

By Terry Masters

Any type of business can use a DBA, or "doing business as," designation as long as the proper paperwork is filed with the state where the business is operating. However, if the business is only using a DBA, it is most likely operating as a sole proprietorship. A sole proprietor must file articles of organization with the state to covert the business into a limited liability company, or LLC, and inform the state that the DBA registration is to be transferred to the new company.

Step 1

Visit the business section of the website for the secretary of state or comparable government agency that handles business registrations in your state. Familiarize yourself with the different types of business resources the website provides. Business entities are formed under state law, and every state maintains a website portal with all the information a person would need to register a business with the state. Some states enable businesses to reserve DBAs through this business registration portal, so you may already be familiar with this state website.

Step 2

Inform the state that you want to convert your DBA registration into a new LLC. Determine whether your state uses a form, sometimes called a conversion or transfer form, to convert a DBA registration to another entity. Each state has its own procedures for managing business entities. Check the “Forms and Fees” section of the website and see if anything is listed there pertaining to the transfer of a DBA. If you registered your DBA at the county level, call the county clerk’s office to find out how to transfer the DBA to a newly formed LLC. Some states have no official procedure for converting a DBA, and you will have to cancel the registration so the name will be available for use by the new LLC.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

Step 3

Download the articles of organization template for a domestic LLC from the “Forms and Fees” section of the state website. Each state makes available a fill-in-the-blank PDF form of articles of organization that comply with the requirements of state law. You are not required to use this form but using it ensures your filing will be accepted by the state.

Step 4

Fill in the articles of organization with the basic business information requested by the form. Each state has different requirements for forming an LLC, but the form will at least request the name of the company, the name and address of a registered agent, and the name and signature of the person filing the paperwork. The state requires that each business operate under a unique name. This is why you must convert or release your DBA registration before filing the articles. The state will conduct a name search, and will reject your filing if there is another business operating in the state with the same name listed on the articles.

Step 5

File the articles of organization with the state. The PDF form will include instructions for mailing, faxing or delivering the articles to the state office with the correct filing fee. Some states have an online electronic filing system that can be used to streamline the process. Call the state registration office directly before sending in your articles to find out what you should do. If the state rejects your articles, you will likely have to pay another fee to have a corrected document filed. Your business is considered to be converted to an LLC as of the date the state accepts and stamps your articles of organization.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
How to Register a Business Name With the State of South Carolina



Related articles

How do I Convert a DBA to LLC?

If you are conducting business using a DBA, which is short for "doing business as" and sometimes called a fictitious business name, and want and you want to use the DBA as a name for an LLC, you can do this by following the LLC naming laws in your state. Each state has its own LLC laws and state agency charged with overseeing compliance with these laws, usually the secretary of state. Although variations exist between state LLC laws, forming an LLC using your DBA name will require determining the name’s availability and filing the required document that starts the LLC’s existence.

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 subject to approval of the secretary of state’s corporate or business division. The Articles of Organization, sometimes referred to as the Articles of Formation, is the document that creates the LLC, establishes its name and generally designates the names of its members or owners. It is sometimes possible to find this document through using the Internet.

How to Copyright a Webpage

Your webpage is technically copyrighted as soon as it is placed in a tangible medium such as the Internet. In order to further protect your website you should consider registering for a formal copyright so that you will have the ability to sue any third parties that might misuse your materials. Copyrighting your webpage is not a difficult task, but copyright protection will only extend to certain aspects of your webpage, such as writings, artwork and photographs. A copyright will not protect your domain name, any functional aspects of your website, or any elements of your website that are common or otherwise part of the public domain.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help LLCs

Related articles

Cancelling a DBA

A "doing business as" name, also known as a trade name and a fictitious business name, is the name under which a ...

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

Registering a fictitious business name, also known as a trade or "doing business as" name, is a local process that is ...

How to Check for DBA (Doing Business As) Names

Business owners who use a name other than their own name are using a DBA, which is short for “doing business as” and ...

How to Use TESS for Trademark

A trademark is a unique symbol, phrase or word used to distinguish one brand of goods or services from another. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED