Do I need a DBA?

A question I am often asked is, “Do I need a DBA for my company?” In a nutshell, the answer is this:

A DBA (which stands for ‘Doing Business As’) is needed in two main situations.

Situation 1

First, if you, Joe Jones, are doing business as a sole proprietor (never recommended – unlimited liability) under the name Joe Jones Plumbing you will need to file a DBA form with the county (and usually publish notice in a local paper). This form is then given to your bank so they can deposit checks made out to Joe Jones Plumbing.

Situation 2

The second scenario is when, for example, XYZ, Inc. does business under the name Lexxus Leisure. Again, notice is filed that XYZ, Inc. is doing business as Lexxus Leisure, the bank is notified and you can then deposit checks made out to Lexxus Leisure into the XYZ, Inc. bank account. However, if XYZ, Inc. is properly registered with the state and is doing business as XYZ, Inc. (and not Lexxus Leisure or any other name) then no DBA filing is necessary.