- What is a DBA?
DBA stands for “doing business as”, which means an alternate name that the business can transact under. It can also be referred to as an assumed name or fictitious name. Some people chose to do a DBA when they have more than one type of product or service they want to market. For example, “Joe’s Construction Corp” may choose to do a DBA name like “Joe’s Plumbing and Heating”. It can come in handy for multiple branding purposes. Other people choose to do a DBA name to be more descriptive about the services they offer, or if they are opening additional locations. For example, “Vinny’s Food Service Inc” D/B/A “Vinny’s Catering of Westside”.
Some things to know about DBA’s, each state have different laws regarding DBA’s. In addition, the state of Florida and Pennsylvania require publishing to be done for the DBA. Some states require you file with the country clerk’s office, additionally some states require renewal and fees to use your DBA name every couple of years. Check with your local state to ensure you have accurate information regarding the DBA requirements before filing.
Additional things to know about a DBA: Since a DBA is only giving your business a different alias, it does not require a separate EIN# or separate taxes. All income and net losses flow back up to the original business. A DBA does not require a corporate indicator on the end, such as inc, corp, LLC and so on, since is already corresponds to a business. There are no limitations on how many DBA’s you can have for your business.
The downside of having a DBA name is that the name is not protected. Since it is not on file with the state as a new business entity, anyone can end up selecting the same DBA name as you. There could be hundreds of “Joe’s Pizzeria” DBA names. However, if someone has a registered business under that name, they could possibly force you to shut it down or change the name. In general, a DBA is a great way to give your business the flexibility it needs to explore several opportunities!
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