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.

DBAs can also be useful to corporations, LLCs, and other business entities because it can permit them to do business under other names without having to form new organizations.  In this way more formalized business entities that are seeking to branch out into other businesses or industries can do so without forming new corporations or LLCs.  This can save money (in the form of filing fees) and time (in the form of filing documents and maintaining the business entity throughout the year).  For example, let’s say Mario decided to form Mario’s Tasty Treats, LLC and started a doughnut shop. Now he wants to start a sandwich shop too.  Instead of starting a separate company for the sandwich shop, he can just file a DBA for Mario’s Tasty Treats, LLC doing business as “The Perfect Sandwich.”

Setting up a DBA is going to be crucial for banking purposes.  Operating under a business name without setting up a DBA will make it impossible to issue and receive checks under the business name.  For one thing, a business owner cannot use their personal account and issue checks or receive checks under their business name.  The second issue with this is that a business owner will be unable to open an account under his business name without first having a DBA.  Business owners should plan ahead for these banking issues by getting their DBA filed prior to trying to set-up bank accounts.

Forming a business entity such as a corporation or LLC, along with a DBA provides excellent benefits for a business owner.  It allows an owner to have liability protection for their personal assets, arrange taxation of their business in a way that is most beneficial for them, and still permits them to use various names for their business endeavors.  MyCorporation can help simplify the process of filing the documents for setting up corporations, LLCs, and DBAs.  Call us today and let us help get your business started.


  1. I want to set up an on-line magazine and make money through subscriptions and by selling advertising space.

    I also want to sell digital copies of my photographs on-line.

    I may also provide graphics and image editing services via the internet.

    I am a U.S. citizen living abroad.

    What State should I set up a DBA?

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