What Is a Doing Business As Certificate?


A Doing Business As (DBA) certificate provides a business owner with the legal right to operate a business under a different name than one's own full legal name. According to the U.S. Government (business.gov), almost all local counties, towns and cities require business owners to register a DBA name, except for municipalities located in the states of Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. A DBA may also be known as a fictitious business name or an assumed name.


Persons in the United States who use their full legal name as a business name in a partnership or a sole proprietorship do not need to register an assumed name with their local county government. A sole proprietor owns a business alone and files business losses and gains on his personal income tax form, while a partnership, such as a law firm, may use the legal name of all partners. With a corporation, the business takes on the legal name registered with the state.


A person who registers a DBA certificate can enforce contracts under her business name instead of her personal name, which offers a certain degree of liability protection against lawsuits. In addition, a DBA certificate allows business owners to open a bank account in the name of their business and to receive checks written out to their company. Registering a DBA prevents other individuals from using the same business name, which can help with branding and marketing.


Applicants must apply for a DBA certificate by submitting an application form with their local office of the town, city or county clerk. A local clerk and a notary will issue and verify the certificate. Registrants have to pay a fee to their local municipality for the registration of a fictitious business name. The local clerk will run a proposed business name through a database in order to make sure that someone else has not already taken the name.


The cost of a DBA certificate varies depending on the policies of a filer’s county or city. For example, Henrico County, Virginia, charges $10 for the filing of a fictitious business name, while the town of Brookline, Maryland, charges $75 for the filing of a DBA. Cook County, Illinois, the county containing the city of Chicago, charges $50 for an assumed business name certificate. A DBA certificate lasts a set number of years depending upon the policies of a registrant’s local town, county or city, after which point the registrant must renew the name.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!