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How to add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC

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Do you know how to add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC without violating federal and state laws? Entrepreneurs must follow due process and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

Some limited liability companies find advantages to conducting businesses under different names. It’s usually an identity better suited for advertising and marketing purposes.

Are you a new entrepreneur that doesn’t know how to add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC? Join us as we discuss everything novices should know about the process. Let’s get started.

What does DBA mean?

DBA refers to “doing business as,” a pseudonym used by organizations operating without their registered company name. It’s a way of giving your company or part of the startup a different identity from its initials.

Using “doing business as” for your limited liability company is an excellent way to manage a company formation online under a different name. For example, if Mike Mayer Enterprises LLC is your registered name but you want to operate as “MM’s Computer Services,” then combine the words as “Mike Mayer Enterprises LLC, DBA MM’s Computer Services.”

Most states have laws referring to DBA as a trade, fictitious, or assumed name, so learn the most used words in your jurisdiction before starting.

Add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC: Why use it?

The primary purpose of using DBA for an LLC is to notify the public about an individual or business entity operating an organization under a name different from its legal identity.

Gaining a marketing and advertising advantage and operating multiple businesses under one limited liability company are other reasons to add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC.

Instead of forming separate LLCs, you can operate different companies under one entity using the fictitious name. For example, Mike Mayer Enterprises LLC might prefer adopting “Mike Mayer Management” for a startup that manages or owns rental properties and “Mike Mayer Yard Services” for an organization providing garden and lawn maintenance.

For example, suppose you register a limited liability company as “Florida Wine Outlets LLC,” but decide to launch another store in Miami. In that case, you can name the store “Miami Wine Outlet,” presenting it as a local business. Your organization becomes “Miami Wines Outlets LLC, DBA Florida Wine Outlet.”

Add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC: Where to Register?

Adopting Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC is necessary in all US states. Most jurisdictions want you to register with the city or county government where the business operates, while others prefer registration at the state level.

Conduct extensive research about your chosen state to learn the requirements to avoid legal pitfalls. Below are steps to find proper information in your jurisdiction:

  •         Perform an online search on the state’s official website for the trade name requirements. For example, search “California assumed name registration” or “Florida DBA registration.”
  •         Consider checking the state agency you registered the limited liability company.
  •         Another excellent step is checking with your county or city agency that understands business regulations. Consult with the city or county clerk’s office.
  •         Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration to check with your local office for requirements.

But if you’re using multiple fictitious names, consider filing different forms for each identity. Furthermore, file for it in every municipality or country where you’ll use the word to ensure compliance. However, it becomes unnecessary if statewide registration is possible.

Add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC: How to Register?

You can start the process online after learning where to register Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC. Your first task is obtaining the required from your city or county agency. Provide information in the provided boxes and file it with the state.

Most states require company formation registration entrepreneurs to provide their limited liability company’s fictitious identity and name as registered. You cannot use a name that’s similar to identical to another business in many jurisdictions.

Consider choosing a unique name as a marketing strategy to distinguish you from other competitors. It usually attracts a registration fee, so remit payment to the appropriate authorities, typically under $100.

Most states also require business owners to publish a notice in an approved newspaper before operating under the registered identity. If you’re in such jurisdiction, consider finding a local news publisher with the right audience.

Extensively research requirements for online registration companies in your desired state and check for the associated costs. Local legal newspapers offer low publication fees, unlike general circulation newspapers with higher prices.

Adding a DBA to an LLC vary from state to state, but it’s a relatively straightforward process that involves filing a form. Besides, a registered agent can submit the form after completion to the appropriate government agency.

Add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC: Key Takeaways

After learning to add Doing Business As (DBA) to an LLC, it’s time to make proactive business decisions. Consider submitting the forms to the appropriate government agency to avoid unnecessary issues.

Although the laws guiding DBA for a limited liability company vary in different states, they come with a registration fee. All applicants must remit payment to the Secretary of State before expecting approval.

It’s best to file different forms using multiple fictitious names to ensure compliance. Besides, this approach gives your brand an advertising and marketing advantage.

About Author

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Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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