DBA stands for a "doing business as" name, and it's something you might consider establishing for your business if you prefer not to use your real name or registered business name in the marketplace. Keep reading to learn about the advantages of filing a DBA.
A DBA can be a valuable way to protect and grow your business. There are numerous advantages to filing a DBA with state or local government agencies. To determine if a DBA is right for your business, consider the following:
Suppose you already own a business and want to expand your business into other areas. In that case, a DBA can facilitate that expansion, whether expanding geographically or opening a new line of business.
Additionally, suppose your business expands into a region where someone else already has registered your business name. A DBA could allow you to register a different name in that area and operate under that alias.
If you want to enter an entirely new line of business, a DBA can facilitate that as well. There are plenty of companies that operate a variety of brands with a DBA name, while the parent company oversees them all.
A DBA name can protect your privacy if you're operating your business as a private individual – either as a sole proprietor or as part of a partnership. If you advertise your real name, you'll likely find catalogs and postcards filling up your home mailbox in no time. You may also receive unsolicited phone calls from individuals and other businesses trying to sell your company something it "needs." However, some businesses would not want the privacy protection of a DBA, for example a real estate agency.
With a DBA, you will have the opportunity to apply for a business bank account under that fictitious name. Banks may require you to have a DBA to get a business account – particularly if you operate as a sole proprietor or partner.
Additionally, business owners may not use personal bank accounts to issue or receive checks under their business name. If you file for a DBA and obtain a certified copy of this document, you can bring it to the bank and use it to open your business account. Once you have a business bank account, you may accept money and payments under that company's DBA as well.
Another benefit of DBAs is the potential for branding in different target markets. For example, if your company has various lines of business, you can use DBAs to create distinct brand names that target specific clients.
Also, consider that if you're operating as a sole proprietor or partnership, your own name will typically not have much marketing power beyond the people you know. A DBA allows you to set up a business name that will appeal to a broader range of potential clients. It will also make it easier to brand and market your business with a unique logo that goes with the assumed name.
A DBA is not required in every state, but most states do require it. You don't want to get caught operating under a fictitious name without actually setting up a DBA. Without registering, you could face fines, penalties, or lawsuits if you operate under a DBA. You never know when one botched transaction or irate customer could turn into a lawsuit that incriminates you for fraud. Fortunately, the filing process is not overly complex. Depending on your state's, county's, or locality's law, you may be able to file online, through your Secretary of State, or at your local clerk's office.
The DBA filing requirements and fees vary by jurisdiction, but the process of registering a DBA is typically simple and straightforward. The process may be as simple as contacting your local clerk's office or the recorder's office for a DBA certificate. You may also have the option to file online. If you want to know the exact process of filing that applies to your business, you can visit the official website of the state where you do business.
Once you understand what assumed names are, their benefits, and how to register, it's time to start the DBA filing process.
If you are looking to outsource your DBA filings, Harbor Compliance can help. With our Managed DBA services, you can expect:
With Harbor Compliance, you're partnering with a team of compliance specialists who understand your goals and can manage the regulatory tasks to get you there. Contact us today to learn more.Continue reading “Renewing a DBA”