DBA's: How to Legally Use Multiple Names for Your Business
Let’s say you came up with an AMAZING business name, it’s an extension of your legal name, but it is so unique. You know it exists nowhere else, and you are literally giddy thinking about what the future holds.
While you are marketing, and doing business under this name, I want to share with you why you should file a DBA application and what it can do for your business.
Whether you are a sole proprietor doing business under a different name than your legally given name or you are a seasoned business owner, thinking of operating an extension under your LLC using a different name… this episode is for you.
WHAT IS A DBA?
“Doing Business As” aka “DBA” means that you are running your business under a different name than the name of your business. Sometimes when you start your business your bills and paperwork are under one name but the name that you advertise under is another name. For instance, if you are a sole proprietor that is using a name that is different from your own legal name you would have a DBA (i.e. my personal name is Paige Griffith and my DBA would be “The Legal Paige”). Additionally, if you are an LLC, and you are operating an extension of your business under a name that is different than the legally registered LLC name you would be using a DBA name (i.e. your biz is called Christa's Corner, LLC but you sell things online as “Christa’s Beautiful Belonging”).
WHO SHOULD FILE A DBA?
People often wonder why the heck a DBA is even necessary. Operating under a DBA is a great way to separate your business name from your legal name if you are operating as a sole proprietorship. Additionally, having a DBA will ultimately help you grow, expand, and be an official biz in the eyes of your customers and other businesses in your area because you are operating under a more official name.
Before you start operating under a DBA you need to register it with the state. I cannot tell you how many small businesses operate as sole proprietors but have not filed ANYTHING with their state. Here is the main thing you need to know as a sole proprietor: If you are operating your business with a name other than your legal given name you MUST file your DBA in your state and/or county.
It is also often required to have a DBA if you want to set up a business bank account. Although some banks do not require it and you may use your social security number, I STILL recommend getting a DBA to be official with your state.
MORE FROM THIS EPISODE:
Tune into Episode 156 for more information on DBAs including HOW to actually file a DBA and WHY this is so important for your business! If you want more helpful business advice as you’ll hear on the podcast, be sure to join The Legal Paige Facebook Community where thousands of entrepreneurs just like you are getting real-time answers about running a professionally and legally legit business.