How to File a DBA Wth the Indiana Secretary of State

By Mike Keenan

If your business name is different from your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation, you have to register your DBA, or doing business as, name, which is sometimes referred to as a trade name. In Indiana, some entities are required to register their DBAs with the secretary of state, while others only have to register with the local county clerk's office where they do business.

When a DBA is Required

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships need only file an application for a DBA with the county recorder of each county in which they do business. They can obtain the form at the county recorder's office. However, a limited liability company, or LLC, a limited partnership or a corporation, must file a DBA with the Indiana Secretary of State as well as the county recorder of each county in which it does business.

Online Name Search

The state of Indiana does not allow businesses to share the same assumed name. You can perform an online name search of the state database at the Indiana Secretary of State website to determine if a name is available. Just because you are able to incorporate under a particular name does not mean you have authorization from the Indiana Secretary of State to use a particular name; your name must be available for registration, meaning no other business is using the same name.

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Certificate of Assumed Business Name Form

If your business is an LLC, limited partnership of corporation, to file your DBA, you can download Form 30353, a Certificate of Assumed Business Name, from the Indiana Secretary of State website, or call the office at 317-232-6576 to request a form by mail. You can also use an online document preparation website to prepare and file all your forms, including Form 30353, when starting your business. On form 30353, you must provide the legal name of the entity and the company's principal business address. You must also include your DBA name and sign if you are an owner or incorporator of the business. You can submit the form electronically through the Indiana Secretary of State website or mail it to Charles P. White Secretary of State, Corporations Division 302 W. Washington St., Room E018, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

Fees

The cost of registering your DBA with the Indiana Secretary of State depends on whether you file online and the type of entity. Filing online is less than if you file by mail or in person. For-profit corporations, LLCs and limited partnerships pay the same fee.The fee is less for non-profit corporations. Foreign corporations pay a higher filing fee.

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How to Add DBA to an LLC

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How to Establish a DBA

A DBA, or "doing business as," is a name you use for your business besides your real name. DBAs are also known as fictitious names or trade names in some states. For example, if you want to call your business "Glamorous Ghost Writers," you have to register that name before you may use it for business. A DBA allows you to have a more descriptive name for your business than just "Jane Doe" or "Kevin Smart, Inc." Even in states where registration is not necessary, you often receive additional protection against others using the same name if you register with the state.

Setting Up a DBA in Massachusetts

A DBA, which is short for doing business as, is the registration form that a business owner must file when she does business under a name other than her real name. Not all states require you to register a DBA, but Massachusetts does. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the law requires business owners to register a DBA to create a public record of the name and address of the true owner of a business. According to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 110, Section 5, DBA registrations are required for "any person conducting business in the Commonwealth under any title other than the real name of the person conducting the business, whether individually or as a partnership." For example, if your name is Kent Plank and your business is Plank's Carpentry, you're using a name other than your real name and must register your business as a DBA. Similarly, if a corporation is named "Waldo's Wonders" in its articles of incorporation but the corporation wants to do business under a different name, the owner would have to register that name as a fictitious business name. In Massachusetts, you register a DBA in the city or town in which you do business.

How to File a Colorado DBA

Many businesses choose to use a name other than their businesses' legal name. In Colorado, these are called trade names. In other states, they may be commonly referred to as a "doing business as" -- a DBA -- or as a fictitious name. In Colorado, if you don't register your trade name with the secretary of state, you risk fines or an injunction preventing you from using your chosen name.

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