#doing business as
DBA stands for doing business as and is an official and public registration of a business name. DBAs are also known as Fictitious Names, Fictitious Business Names, Assumed Names, and Trade Names. Essentially, a DBA is the name of a business other than the owner’s name or, in the case of a corporation, a name that is different from the legal or true corporate name as on file with the Secretary of State. If you are conducting business under any name other than your own name or your company’s legal name, you must register the fictitious name with your state and/or county.
DBA registration is necessary if your company conducts any business under a name other than your own name (for sole proprietors) or its legal name (for state-level entities such as corporations and LLCs). “Conducting business” can include marketing, advertising, letterhead, business cards, etc. in addition to actual business transactions. Also, banks generally require a DBA registration in order to open a business bank account. DBA registration is required if you anticipate collecting money under a name other than your own name or your true corporate name.
Another common reason to register a DBA is when your state-level entity (such as a corporation or limited liability company) has a division or unit that conducts business using a variation of or a completely different name than the true name. For example, a bank whose true name is “ABC Bank Inc.” might market their mortgage services on a website called “abcmortgages.com” and might have a separate division for their loan services called “XYZ Lenders,” in which case they would most likely file DBAs for both “abcmortgages.com” and : XYZ Lenders in all jurisdictions in which these names are used.
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