What is a DBA, or Doing Business As?


what is a DBA?

What is a DBA?

Do I need a DBA?

Where can I set up a DBA?

Every day, people inquire about setting up a DBA for their Delaware LLC or Delaware corporation. A DBA, which means "doing business as," is simply a fictitious name registration.

Business owners often choose to operate under multiple, different names for a number of different ventures. For example, ABC Company, Inc. may find the need to set up multiple, different DBAs using the names XYZ Landscaping, Inc. and 123 Construction, Inc.

While both XYZ Landscaping, Inc. and 123 Construction, Inc. are still legally recognized as ABC Company, Inc., the fictitious names can better convey the services and products the company offers its potential customers.  

In my experience, the current trend has business owners leaning toward incorporating a Delaware LLC or corporation with the actual name under which they plan to operate. Since the company name is often linked to a website, trademark, patent, logo or some other type of branding, setting up the DBA is kind of unnecessary.

However, it is not uncommon for people to set up a DBA as a fictitious name for a corporation or LLC formed in Delaware. The question then becomes, where do I setup the DBA?

Traditionally, in Delaware, the DBA registration is completed in the county in which the company predominantly operates and does business. Next you might be wondering if you need to file for your DBA in Delaware. Again, it depends where your company physically operates and transacts business. If the company is actually located and conducting business in the state of Delaware, then the answer is typically yes.

You can fill out the necessary forms online to set up your DBA in Delaware. Depending on where in Delaware the company is headquartered, the DBA registration can be filed with the New Castle, Kent or Sussex County Prothonotary's Office. Usually, you’ll need to provide this information:

  • Name and address of the corporation or LLC
  • Date of formation
  • The DBA or fictitious name
  • Nature of business
  • Names and addresses of members/directors/officers
  • Contact phone number
  • Name of authorized person signing the title and notarization

If your company does not operate in Delaware—if it operates in any other state—the same rules, in general, apply for DBAs. The DBA is still handled at the county level. If your Delaware LLC or corporation is operating in another jurisdiction, you may need to register for Foreign Qualification before filing for the DBA.

We’re happy to answer any questions you have about setting up a DBA for your Delaware LLC or corporation. Give us a call today at 1-800-345-2677.  We’re ready to help you.


Image Credit: Geralt


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