DBA/Fictitious Business Name 2020-11-06T14:26:01+00:00

Prepare and File a DBA or
Fictitious Business Name

Required by Many States if You Want to Do Business Under a Different Name From Your Legal Business Name

A “Fictitious Business Name” (FBN) or “Doing Business As” name (DBA) is a name you choose to do business under that can be different from the official legal name of your LLC or corporation. Fictitious business names normally need to be filed with the Secretary of State or other entity that governs business formation in your state. If your business operates in multiple states, you’ll likely need to file a fictitious name in any state where you have a presence.

Why Businesses May
Choose to Use a Fictitious
Business Name

Some entrepreneurs will simply choose to do business using the name they were formed under, but other business owners might want to use different names. Here are some examples of when
you might use another name…

You are incorporating in multiple states under the same name, but you want your business name to reflect specific locations. For example: “Arizona Natural Resource Survey Reports LLC,” “North Dakota Natural Resource Survey Reports LLC,” etc.

The products and services you provide have changed. For example, You own a business called “Johnson’s Auto Parts LLC” but have recently diversified into car repairs, so you may use an assumed business name like “Johnson’s Complete Car Repair Services.”

Your legal business name is similar to your own name, but you want to do business under a different name for privacy purposes.

Other Terms for a Fictitious Business Name:

Trade Name, Assumed Business Name, Doing Business As Name

A fictitious business name may be described in different ways by different states. For example, Maryland uses the term “Trade Name” and Illinois calls them “Assumed Names,” while other states may call them “Doing Business As” names. Regardless of the specific term, they all do similar things: allow your business to operate under a different name than the one it was formed with.

How to Register and File a Fictitious Business Name

There are a couple of ways you can register and file the name you want to do business under.

Register and File the Fictitious or Doing Business As Name Yourself

If you want to complete the filing and registration process yourself, here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Find out what state entity controls business formation (this is normally the Secretary of State).
  • Visit the relevant website and find the section on DBA, trade, fictitious or assumed names.
  • Download the form you’ll need to fill in.
  • Complete the form with all relevant details.
  • Send the form back. The method varies from state to state; some allow online filing, but with others you will need to fax or mail it.
  • Pay a fee to file the form.

Note that fictitious business names could be formed on a state or county level. If they are formed on a county level, you will likely have to register with each county where you want to use the DBA name.

Have Incfile Register and File on Your Behalf

Alternatively, here at Incfile we can take care of registering a business trade name for you. Just order our “Fictitious Business Name” service, and we’ll collect all the information we need. We deal with all the forms, filing, registration and fees on your behalf. It’s fast, simple and hassle-free.

You can take advantage of our service when you first incorporate your business, or at any time after that.

You can easily complete a fictitious business name search to see if specific names are taken on your state authority’s website.

Protecting Your Business Name

A fictitious name by itself won’t protect your business name. Forming an LLC or corporation is one of the best ways to secure the legal name of your business, but if you want to take an extra step, it may be worth trademarking your business name.

We also provide a complete, low-cost trademark search and registration service to make it easy to protect your assumed business or trade name.

The States That Allow Fictitious Business Names

Below, you’ll find a table of all the states that do and do not allow fictitious business names, including
costs, the necessary form, and what fictitious names are known as in each state.

Fictitious Names Available?Necessary Form & What Fictitious Names Are Known AsState Fees to Register Fictitious Name
Alaska
Alabama
ArkansasAPPLICATION FOR FICTITIOUS NAME$23
Arizona
CaliforniaDBA$0
ColoradoSTATEMENT OF TRADE NAME$20
Connecticut
Washington DCTRADE NAME REGISTRATION$55
DelawareREGISTRATION OF TRADE, BUSINESS & FICTITIOUS NAME CERTIFICATE$25
FloridaFICTITIOUS NAME REGISTRATION$50
Georgia
HawaiiREGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME$50
IowaFICTITIOUS NAME RESOLUTION$5
IdahoCERTIFICATE OF ASSUMED BUSINESS NAME$25
IllinoisASSUMED NAME ADOPTION$204
IndianaASSUMED BUSINESS NAME$21
Kansas
KentuckyCERTIFICATE OF ASSUMED NAME$20
LouisianaAPPLICATION TO REGISTER TRADE NAME$80
Massachusetts
MarylandTRADE NAME APPLICATION$75
MaineSTATEMENT OF INTENTION TO DO BUSINESS UNDER AN ASSUMED OR FICTITIOUS NAME$125
MichiganCERTIFICATE OF ASSUMED NAME$25
MinnesotaASSUMED NAME$50
MissouriREGISTRATION OF FICTITIOUS NAME$7
MississippiFICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME REGISTRATION$25
MontanaASSUMED BUSINESS NAME REGISTRATION$20
North CarolinaAssumed Business Names$26
North DakotaASSUMED BUSINESS NAME$25
NebraskaTRADE NAME REGISTRATION$102
New HampshireTRADE NAME REGISTRATION$52
New JerseyREGISTRATION OF ALTERNATE NAME$53
New Mexico
NevadaFICTITIOUS FIRM NAME$25
New YorkCERTIFICATE OF ASSUMED NAME$125
OhioFICTITIOUS NAME REGISTRATION$39
OklahomaTRADE NAME$25
OregonASSUMED BUSINESS NAME REGISTRATION$50
PennsylvaniaREGISTRATION OF FICTITIOUS NAME$70
Rhode IslandFICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT$50
South Carolina
South DakotaFICTITIOUS NAME REGISTRATION$10
TennesseeASSUMED NAME$20
TexasCERTIFICATE OF ASSUMED BUSINESS NAME$25
UtahDBA$22
Virginia
VermontTRADE NAME$50
Washington
WisconsinTRADE NAME$15
West VirginiaTRADE NAME$25
WyomingTRADE NAME$100