4 Simple Steps to Register your Business Name (DBA)

doing business as Name of your business is a very important part of your brand image and how you are presented to your customers.

Tips on how to brainstorm for the best brand and DBA name for your business will be in some other posts. This post is for those of you that already know your business name, are ready to do business either as Sole Proprietor, Partnership or a Corporation, and are ready to start!

There are 4 simple steps that you can do to register your business name (DBA, ficticious name, doing business as).

1. Check that your desired business name is available. You can check with your local county registrar where you are planning to have a principal place of your business. Visit your county registrar’s website and look for DBA registration links. Most of the registrars have an option to search for business name availability online, e.g. Los Angeles County Registrar Office.

You might also want to check whether there is a website address name available for your business. It has nothing to do with registering your DBA, however, wouldn’t it be nice to have a brand consistency and have your business have relevant and related www.yourdbaname.com address? Just a tip. One way to check the availability of domain name is GoDaddy home page.

2. Fill out the application. Again, check with your local registrar office whether you can file online. If so, fill out the application with your business name and address, and any other required information.

3. Pay the registration fee. The amount of the fee is usually a very affordable amount. E.g. Los Angeles County charges $26 to register DBA.

4. Publish an information about your DBA within 30 days of registering in a local county newspaper. Check with your local county registrar for the list of approved newspapers. The information is often available on county registrar website.

You may start using your DBA as soon as you register, generally you don’t need to wait for the publication.

Congratulations, you now can officially start doing business under your desired name!

Note, that there is an expiration of the DBA registration. The period after you need to renew your DBA may vary in different counties, so always check online. For LA County, the DBA is valid for 5 years, after that you need to renew your registration and pay renewal fee (also $26, in 2015).

To your Success!

Lucie Tesar