What you should know before you begin to file a doing business as application
1. Research the Laws and guidelines that apply to your State
Before you actually file a DBA you need to choose the state you want to file your doing business as application letting them know basically that you are operating under a different name than your legal name. As each state has different procedures and laws you need to do some careful research beforehand and make sure you understand what the existing guidelines are and at what level of government you need to file your DBA. Some states require you file for a doing business as application at a county level and others at a state level and some require you to apply at both state and county government levels.
2. You need to find a unique Name
After you research your state’s specific guidelines and laws for filing a DBA you need to find a unique name that is not the same or too similar to any other business in your state in order to avoid confusion and misleading the public in any way. You can find free online search tools for your name search usually with the government secretary of state website where you can search if the name you want for your DBA application is available.
Helpful Tip: When choosing your DBA you might also want to consider securing a domain name that is the same as your DBA name in order to enhance your business visibility and create more brand awareness for your products and / or services.
3. Registering your DBA
After choosing and carefully assessing your states requirements and selecting your doing business as name you will then go on to file your new business name with the government county clerk office or secretary of state depending on the regulations of your state and the structure of your business i.e if it is a sole proprietorship, general partnership, LLC or a corporation. There is also a DBA filing fee that is anywhere between $10 and $100 depending on the state you are filing in.
Please note that some states require you to publish proof of your new DBA name in a local newspaper in order to inform the public that you will now be operating and doing business under a name other than your legal name.
Can I file a DBA without a lawyer?
Hopefully the above brief guide has helped answer that question for you but if you still feel uneasy about filing a DBA then you always have the option of filing a doing business as application with the help of a lawyer. The main takeaway points on the whole DBA registration process is that everything you need to know is online and very accessible and the actual filing cost is quite inexpensive. If you choose to hire a lawyer to register your DBA then that might be the most expensive part of the registration process but in the end it is totally up to you.
TRUiC has the online resources that can help guide you in the DBA filing process
If you are looking for online resources to help you out with your doing business as registration and make the process a lot easier TRUiC has a DBA filing guide with step by step information on how to file a DBA in your particular state that can help you simplify the filing process.
If you are having trouble choosing a name for your DBA TRUiC has a business name generator tool that can help you in your search for a suitable name after checking of course with your state for the names availability. You can also use their How to Name a Business guide with state specific info on how to name your business.