A DBA is all about names. Sometimes called a “fictitious business name,” “doing business as,” “trade name,” or “assumed name,” it is all the same thing. If an entrepreneur is planning on doing business using a name other than his or her own personal legal name, then they will probably need a DBA. Most states require a DBA prior to conducting business under a name other than the business name or one’s personal name.
The most common use of a DBA is probably by those who are sole proprietors. These are individual business owners who run their business themselves and have just hung out their shingle. Since most people in these circumstances use a business name other than their own name, it would be necessary to get a DBA. For example, if Mario wanted to open his own doughnut shop called “The Perfect Doughnut,” he would need to get a DBA that asserted it was Mario doing business as “The Perfect Doughnut.” This would allow Mario to receive checks made out to the “The Perfect Doughnut” and also sign checks under that name. (more…)