DBA or Fictitious Name

Do I need a DBA (“Doing Business As”) or a Fictitious Business Name? You do if you’re naming your business anything besides your own name. This is one of the first things you want to decide on, because you’ll need to get this done before doing things like getting a business license and opening a business checking account. You also would probably want to decide on this before you chose a name for your website.

For example, I toyed with various business names for my art, specifically my commissioned collage paintings, such as “Memories by Marcy” and a few others. Unfortunately, the only one I really liked (Memories by Marcy) was already taken by someone else. So I just decided to stick with my own name.

How do you chose a name? There’s really no specific way, but I recommend putting some real thought into it for a few weeks, or more, putting together a list of possibilities, then surveying your friends, family and fans.

You would also want to do a little research to make sure the name isn’t already taken. The easiest way would be to just google the name and see if it brings anything up. If it does, it’s most likely taken. You can also check with your states Secretary of State Office (you may have to mail a form in, or in some states I believe you can just do it on-line or over the phone).

Once you decide on your name, you would file a DBA form with your local County Recorder’s Office. This generally costs around $30.

For more information pertaining to all states check out www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business

DISCLAIMER: We are not lawyers, tax experts, CPAs, affiliated with any government offices or anything else. Information in this website is not legal advice or tax advice and should not be construed as such.

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