When do I need to register a "Doing Business As" (DBA) trade name?

You need to register a fictitious business name (also called a trade name, DBA name, or assumed name) whenever you are doing business under a different name than your personal name, the names of partners in a partnership, or the registered name of an LLC or corporation. When you form a sole proprietorship or partnership, the name of the business defaults to the name or names of the owners unless you register a new one.

For example, if Linda Clark owns a home cleaning business and wants to call it "Linda Clark Home Cleaning," then she must file a form with the appropriate office, usually the Secretary of State's Office or the County Clerk's Office.

Note: A few states do not require businesses to file DBA names.

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