How To Find Business Owners Name - DBA is an acronym that means "business as usual." A DBA is a way of giving your business or part of a business a different name than the registered name. Although it does not provide protection for other legal entities. A unique DBA name helps to brand your company.
Think of the DBA name as a nickname your company uses to promote an image or product that doesn't match your official title. Basically, being a DBA is like Clark Kent running a hero business like Superman.
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Depending on the state in which you work, DBAs may also be called fictitious names, trade names, or assumed names. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they mean the same thing.
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DBA registration is cheap and easy. It should be understood, however, that while it offers a number of advantages, it is not a formal business structure and does not offer liability protection. Getting a DBA gives your name official status, but it doesn't protect you or your assets from lawsuits.
A DBA is not always necessary for a job, but it can be a useful tool. If you plan to do business under a name other than your personal name or the legal name of the business entity, you must register a DBA name. A DBA gives your business more credibility, privacy if you don't want to use your personal name, and an effective way to market your business in a different direction.
There are several reasons why creating a DBA is right for your business. Here are some benefits:
1. Rebranding. If you want to rebrand your registered business (ie, LLC or corporation) and develop new products or services, a DBA allows you to follow a different direction than what your legal business name suggests.
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2. Privacy. Because unincorporated businesses such as sole proprietorships and partnerships use a personal name, you can use a DBA to create and operate a name that is more about your business and less about you.
3. Choices. Businesses wishing to use a name for a product or service already in use in their state have the option of creating a new and different name.
DBAs give fictitious names to business entities. Sometimes this is to protect your identity as a business owner if you have a sole proprietorship or partnership under your legal name. For example, Timothy Johnson may operate an interior design consulting business as Johnson Interiors.
Other times, LLC owners may want to differentiate their product or service offerings. If Timothy Johnson creates Johnson Interiors, LLC for his interior design business, but later decides to make and sell his own furniture, Johnson Interiors can do business as Johnson Custom Furniture instead of forming a completely separate LLC. In this way, Johnson can expand its repertoire of services by keeping everything under the same business unit.
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A DBA is a convenient way to create fictitious business names in multiple geographic locations, but it doesn't always prevent others from using the same business name. To create this protection, you must trademark your business name.
While a DBA is a quick and easy way to start, build, and market your business, it does not protect your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit against your business. If someone files a lawsuit against your sole proprietorship, your personal property is fair game.
Business owners who want to limit their legal liability may consider using an LLC or corporation instead of a sole proprietorship. An LLC is its own legal entity and protects individual personal accounts from being treated as corporate assets. Cars, homes, and checking accounts for personal use are protected against a claim against an LLC.
Before choosing a DBA name, it's a good idea to double check that the name isn't already in use at the state or local level. It's not a difficult step and can save you headaches in the future. For example, if you choose a good name for marketing purposes, but it's already in use, you probably don't want to use a similar name as a competitor. By registering your unique name, you ensure that you are authorized to use that name in the state.
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Registering a business or company name is different from registering a trademark. By registering your business name as a trademark, you ensure that no one else in any state can use the business name or logo. By taking this extra step, you can ensure that your business name remains unique so that customers find your business instead of a competitor.
Note that DBAs offer little legal protection. This is a great way to get the right to use the name, but it usually doesn't give you exclusive protection. Using DBA and brands together provides the best marketing and legal protection.
DBA is relatively easy to set up. Here are some general steps you should follow, but there may be state-specific requirements, which you can probably find on the appropriate Secretary of State's website.
These common questions will help you evaluate some basics when considering hiring a DBA for your business.
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Whether you need a DBA depends on where you work. Most states require registration, some do not. Check with your state and local government to determine if you need to register. You can often find this information on the secretary of state's website. This information is good to know. If your state requires a DBA and you don't register, you could face penalties.
Even if registration is not required in your particular state, it may be a good idea to create a DBA. This helps keep your business compliant and makes it easier to set up multiple businesses.
When you register your DBA, you may want to know and track its expiration date. Most states require you to renew your DBA, but renewal times can vary. For example, if you register your business in California, you must renew your DBA after five years. In Texas, you can use your DBA for 10 years, and in New York, you don't need to renew because it has no expiration date.
In many states, a DBA registration is valid for five years without the need for renewal or renewal. Keeping track of DBA expiration dates is important to your company's well-being.
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What if you decide not to update your DBA? If you no longer wish to use DBA, you should cancel your registration to avoid confusion and potential legal issues. Here are the steps you need to take to terminate a DBA.
If the DBA is about to expire, you can let it expire and not renew it.
A DBA can be terminated by the business owner for any reason. They could plan for retirement, sell the business to someone who will start under a new name, or somehow transform into a different type of business. Regardless of the reason, revoking a DBA usually involves contacting the agency that registered it, providing documentation, and sometimes paying a processing fee.
DBAs do not need to file separate taxes - taxes on money collected through a DBA are included as part of the business return. However, the frequency of filing taxes depends on the structure of the company. A sole proprietor pays taxes every year unless the business makes a profit for the entire year.
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If you obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN), it may be easier for your DBA to keep business and personal items separate. But remember that the IRS does not require a sole proprietorship to obtain an EIN, regardless of whether the business has a DBA or not. You can use your Social Security number to file your taxes. However, sometimes banks require a business to have an EIN to open a business bank account. Having an EIN and a business bank account creates legitimacy for your business.
The IRS creates an EIN. To apply, you'll need your social security number and company contact information. When you create a DBA, you must also provide a name.
Because a DBA is not a formal business structure, there are usually no additional start-up or organization costs associated with setting it up. To register as a DBA, you file paperwork with your state's secretary of state and pay a filing fee that ranges from $10 to $100, depending on where you live.
The purpose of a DBA is to manage a business entity under a name other than its official name. This can be a pseudonym for a self-employed person or an entire line of business. A DBA registration alerts the public that the business entity intends to conduct business under a name different from its official legal name.
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A DBA can be a great way to dip your toe in the water and try out a new business or product idea without knowing everything. If you are using a DBA as a sole trader or part of a partnership, don't wait.
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