A DBA does not change the ownership or liability of a partnership or sole proprietorship.
A DBA can help with banking and branding, but the business owner’s personal assets are still vulnerable to lawsuits and creditors.
Running Multiple Businesses Under One Owner
A DBA can be used to run multiple businesses at the same time.
One option is to form a corporation to use the DBA.
The corporation or LLC should be the owners of the DBA.
Don’t place the DBA as owned by the business owner.
The business owner owns the corporation or LLC. Then the business owns the DBA.
This is useful if you are launching new websites, services, or products.
If you sign contracts or leases under an unknown name, you may forfeit the benefits of being incorporated.
A DBA informs other entities that the corporation has several legal and tax safeguards in place.
Why Might a Business Want to File a DBA?
One reason a company might want to set up a DBA is to grow their interest in new products, services, or brands.
Another reason is that an unregistered business, such as a single proprietorship or partnership, wants to use a name different from their own.
Businesses should only utilize this option if they have a low profit margin and a minimal risk.
Benefits of Filing a DBA
Expanding Your Business
The ability to expand a company’s branding is a significant advantage of registering a DBA. As an LLC or corporation, you can expand into a new area not represented by your
current business name, or you can start a new firm to explore something altogether different.
Having a more detailed name may be beneficial to clients, and several DBAs enable this to happen.
A autobody shop, for example, may wish to diversify selling car paint or car wax products
With a DBA, a company can develop a new brand without changing their existing one or associating it with a new product line.
A DBA also improves privacy by allowing a sole proprietor to name their firm something different than their legal name.
Small business banking can help a company gain confidence and reputation. Creating a DBA allows entrepreneurs to gain access to small business banking, allowing.
business owners to receive payments in the name of the company rather than your surname.
Creating a Practical Business Name
Creating a Practical Business Name
A company can file a DBA to conduct business under the domain name of the company.
This is especially useful if your company name does not exist as a domain name.
A DBA can also be used to build several brands for distinct markets, geographic areas, or anything else that may be new, or when requiring a new brand.
A DBA can even help you come up with a more memorable business name.
The legal name may be long, difficult to spell and pronounce, difficult to remember, or unsuitable for search engines.
Some clients may demand you to have a DBA in order to sign a contract with your company.
A DBA may be required if a freelancer bids on work for a local corporation.
It is more customary, however, for them to ask the freelancer to incorporate their business or form an LLC than having an existing DBA.
Drawbacks to Using a DBA
Lack of Legal Protection as a sole proprietor
Multiple firms can operate under the same DBA in the same state, allowing you to seek more opportunities.
There is also more leeway in terms of business function clarity.
You may be required to register your DBA with the state, county, or city in which your business is located.
Registering your DBA name does not provide legal protection on its own, and it does not replace incorporating your firm in terms of protecting you and your personal assets.
Lack of Naming Rights
The use of a DBA does not grant you naming rights.
If you haven’t incorporated a business and given it the DBA name, anyone who registers a legitimate business entity can use your DBA name.
Using a DBA name is restricted to the county in which your firm is located. It does not imply that your company’s name is protected anywhere.
A DBA name merely indicates that you are permitted to conduct business in that county. In California, the DBA is filed on the county level.
Anyone else who wishes to incorporate their firm under that name is free to do so. Outside of your immediate area, a DBA is limited.
Closing a Business
If a sole proprietor passes and their heirs intend to take over the business, the business may be legally required to close its doors through probate because it is related to the owner and not a separate entity, despite having a DBA.
When a DBA closes, it must file dissolution forms with the county clerk.
A DBA owner may opt to sell the business, but the documentation to transfer the DBA name to the new owner must be submitted with the county clerk.
In addition, the DBA owner must notify the state and the IRS that he or she is no longer accountable for income taxes, liabilities, or prospective lawsuits.
When reporting the final business year’s income, the owner would say on a Schedule C that it is the last year, and the business is no longer operating in a fashion that is linked to the owner’s Social Security Number.
Do Corporations or LLCs Need DBAs?
To employ a brand name, bank in the LLC name, or create privacy, formal company structures such as LLCs and corporations do not need to file a DBA name.
The primary advantage of a DBA is that it allows formal company entities to create many brands or lines of business under one LLC or company.
Instead of changing the main legal business name, a DBA might rebrand an LLC or corporation.
Do Corporations or LLCs Need DBAs?
The procedures for registering a fictitious name differ from state to state.
In many places, go to the county clerk’s office and pay a registration fee. Remember, the DBA should be owned by your corporation or LLC, not by you as an individual.
In some areas, you must additionally post a fictitious name ad in a local newspaper for a set period-of-time.
A fictitious name notice or DBA costs between $10 and $100 to file.
A fictitious name certificate may also be required by your local bank to create a business account for you.
If this is the case, they will be able to direct you to the appropriate registration location.
DBA filings are typically done at the county level, while some jurisdictions offer state-level DBA filings.
Check your state’s Secretary of State’s website for information on how to file a DBA.
Succeeding at Filing a DBA
If your corporation was originally filed in another state, file as foreign corporation or foreign LLC, and then file the DBA in that state. The DBA should be owned by the corporation or LLC.
DBA filings for a corporation or LLC frequently necessitate proof of good standing.
They frequently demonstrate this in the form of a good standing certificate, which you can obtain from the secretary of state.
You cannot use a DBA with a corporate name that ends in inc. or corp.
If your current company is not a corporation.
You also cannot choose a name that implies your company is an LLC if it is not.
Some jurisdictions or countries accept debit or credit card payments for filing fees, while others demand a money order or cashier’s check.
Some agencies accept online submissions, while others require notarized documents to be mailed in.
It is a violation of state law to conduct any business under an unregistered assumed name. Penalties enforced by the state can be costly for failing to file a DBA or incorporate.
In many places, the registration of fictitious names is only valid for a limited time and must be renewed.
In certain states, they file revisions, and in others, they request new registration.
DBA’s and the IRS
The IRS considers a DBA to be an extension of a sole proprietorship.
As a result, the firm does not require a separate EIN.
You can get away without one in these limited instances, but you will want to establish an EIN to create business credit.
Once incorporated, you must apply for an EIN for the company.
DBA’s and the IRS
In most states, corporations are not required to file fictitious business names unless they conduct business under a name other than their own.
For corporate businesses, incorporation documents have the same impact that fictitious name filings do for sole proprietorships and partnerships.
Enterprise SBA Loans
Enterprise SBA Loans offer long term, low interest financing up to $12,000,000 with terms up to 25 years. Businesses must meet the following requirements:
Be a “for profit” and have evidence of growth
Have collateral worth 50% of the loan amount
Have a FICO score > 620 and established business credit
Provide tax returns for the last three years
Have no bankruptcies in the last four years
Business Credit and DBA Filings
Incorporating your business is the only method to truly separate your business and personal credit. A DBA will not suffice on its own.
It makes no difference whether the company is a C corporation, an S corporation, or an LLC. Avoid using a sole proprietor if at all possible.
A DBA creates a new brand for the business, but it does nothing to distinguish between personal and company assets and responsibilities.
A DBA for a corporation is acceptable for establishing business credit.
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