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Setting up a DBA: What you Should Know

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The process of registering and filing your DBA is now easier and more convenient. Here’s how the set-up works.

Doing Business As or a DBA has now become a noun used by many business owners and entrepreneurs. This fictitious name that a newly established business will trade under is mostly referred to as a DBA. The guidelines and filling process for registration is different in every state and has recently become even more microscopic in counties and cities. Read more on how to file your DBA, as we review how to set-up a DBA and what are some of the legalities involved in the process.

How do I set up a DBA?

Before starting with the filing process, it’s important to review state and city requirements. Setting up the DBA will require the involved party to first see if their new fictions name isn’t already being used. You will also need to review whether the new name isn’t already trademarked under the U.S. Trademark System. Once you’ve gotten clear on both an internet search and the trademark system, you can start the process.

How does the process work?

It’s simpler today, as it will require you to file an online application and fill the necessary forms. A fee will be charged to individuals and will vary across the U.S. It’s also better to get a DBA if you’re established business wants to do a re-brand or perhaps change its legal name. The process is a lot simpler and can be relatively cheaper than filling a legal name change.

What should I do if my DBA is already being used?

Finding a DBA that’s already being used will require you to, a) change the name or restructure it, b) review whether the established name is a registered trademark, c) check with state-level laws and regulations whether it’s possible to register your new DBA as a trademark to gain better protection across states. New DBAs need to comply with county and city regulations and can be different in every situation.

What are the benefits of registering your DBA?           

The system allows owners and entrepreneurs to be as creative as possible, but with state line restrictions. When registering your DBA for the following, a sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, partnership, or nonprofit can give you better protection of your business and its assets. Also, it will help owners apply for better tax-deductions and exemptions where applicable. DBAs do not provide those with limited liability protection, so your personal assets aren’t separate from your business. Procedures to curb this event from taking place would require you to form an LLC. Eliza Watson, who has a special interest in the Fitness App industry explains it like this: “You never know with TECH what sub-brand names may be needed, so using a DBA gives you the flexibility to respond quickly and retain brand recognition”. Watson is known for helping a series of startups scale up rapidly.

Why should you get your DBA registered?

Depending on what your new business will be used for, it’s great to establish a firm name in the market if you plan on making an empire out of it. Smaller businesses can have better customer returns if consumers are aware of an established and market-orientated enterprise.

What are the involved legalities?

Doing Business As isn’t a legal business entity, as the registered person or owner of the business will be seen as the sole legal entity. There are limitations, as a DBA will give you the opportunity to register and open a business bank account for a sole proprietorship. The DBA is just a name and is not a separate entity – meaning that it can’t have employees unless it has an Employee Identification Number.

Is there a difference between a DBA and Sole Proprietorship?

Whether you’re an online business, freelancer, or perhaps a newly established sole proprietorship, having a DBA will only give a name to what you’re doing or trading. It doesn’t give the owner or legal entity any traction to claim it as a business. A sole proprietorship is a single owned business, where the owner can also be the employee of the business.

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