What Do I Need to Open a DBA Account in South Carolina?

By Valerie Stevens

What you'll need to open a DBA account, or "doing business as" account, in South Carolina depends on your bank's requirements. The State of South Carolina does not register DBA accounts, according to the South Carolina Secretary of State website. Only corporations and partnerships can register with the state.

Purpose

People choose DBA names for their businesses when they don't want to use their legal names for advertising and other purposes. For example, Jay Smith is a sole proprietor of a painting company, but he calls his business Smith Painting. He could apply for a DBA account through his bank to keep his business and personal matters separate. A corporation that owns gas stations in several locations in the State of South Carolina might use DBA names for individual stations. You can find out if the name you want to use has been registered by a corporation on the South Carolina Secretary of State website.

Tax ID

When you approach a bank to open a DBA account, the bank will require you to supply a tax identification number. Your Social Security number is your personal tax ID number. In some instances, you can use that number if you do not have employees. If you have employees, meet certain tax requirements or operate as a corporation or partnership, you must have a separate tax ID number known as an Employer Identification Number, of EIN. You can find out if you need an EIN and, if so, apply for one online at the IRS website.

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Licenses

Depending on what kind of bank account you are trying to open for your DBA, you might need to show that you have the proper permits and licenses to conduct business in the locale where you operate. Business licenses are regulated at the county and city levels in South Carolina. Retail licenses are issued through the South Carolina Department of Revenue and professional licenses are issued through the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Liability Issues

A DBA account does not offer any liability protection. As a sole proprietor, you are still responsible for your business dealings. If someone decides to sue your business, they would be suing you personally. Beyond any business insurance you might have, you would be 100 percent responsible for any judgments entered against you.

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How to Get a DBA in Utah

A DBA, short for "doing business as," is a trade name you use for your business when you don't want to use your given name. For example, if you want your bakery to be known as "Sweeter than Sugar," you are operating under a DBA. In Utah, DBAs apply to sole proprietorships and general partnerships. The DBA must be registered with the Utah Division of Corporations, and the registration is valid for three years. The DBA then expires unless it is renewed.

Consequences for Not Filing a DBA

DBA is short for "doing business as." It's a fictitious name you give to your business when you register it with the state or county, depending on the law in the state where you reside. For example, if your name is John Jones and you are opening a pizza parlor called JJ's Pizza, you are required in most states to register JJ's Pizza as your DBA name. As the Small Business Administration website states, a DBA name is also known as a fictitious name, assumed name or trade name. Although some states, such as Alabama, don't require you to file a DBA name, you have the right to do so. And it's a good idea to do so, since you can run into a heap of potential problems by not registering your DBA name.

The Requirements of a Sole Proprietor in Pennsylvania

Sole proprietorships are common business entities because they are simple to set up, and have relatively few filing requirements. By definition, a sole proprietorship is owned by one person, who remains personally liable for the debts of the business. Most states, including Pennsylvania, do not require sole proprietors to register the business. However, depending on the business type, a business owner may be required to file for licenses, permits and tax registration.

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