A DBA stands for “Doing Business As” and it allows you or your business to do business under different name than your legal entity name.
As an example, let’s say you run a flower shop. If your single-member LLC is called Leslie Smith, LLC, then you can file a DBA to do business as “Leslie’s Flower Shop.” It can also be referred to as a “fictitious business name.”
Why get a DBA?
There are many reasons people or businesses choose to get a DBA. Below are some of those reasons:
- You want your public business name to be different than your entity name. This is most commonly the case for sole props. If you’re a contractor or consultant as a sole proprietor, and you want to do business under a name that is different from your own name.
- Your bank requires one to open a business bank account. Setting up a bank account for your business? Some bank accounts require a DBA so that paying customers can write checks to it, rather than the legal name.
- Your business operates a different business. Let’s say you have a single business, but you open open a new line of products for a whole new audience. You can file a DBA just for that product line or website.
How do I get one?
It varies by state. Check your state’s guidance to understand the process. It’s also advised to consult a lawyer who can guide you.