Do You Need a DBA?
Are you running multiple brands?
Possibly under the same company?
If so, you may need a DBA.
A DBA is usually required when you're using a brand name that doesn't match your registered company name. But it’s not a substitute for registering properly or obtaining a trademark. Here’s when you may need to register for a DBA:
What a DBA is
A DBA, Doing Business As, license allows your company to operate under a pseudonym. In California, it is called a Fictitious Business Name.
It's important because it's legally required if you're operating a company under a name that is different than your registered company name.
What a DBA isn't
A DBA is not a substitute for an LLC or a Corporation. It won’t provide you any tax benefits or limit your liability. It’s just a way of telling people that your LLC or Corporation goes by another name.
A DBA is not an exclusive right to use your company name name. The only way to lock down your business name is with a trademark.
When you need a DBA
You probably need to file a DBA if you’re using a different business name than the one registered with your state. This happens frequently when companies rebrand or split into multiple brands.
You may also need a DBA to use a specific tag line, like “Best Juice in Los Angeles”
In California, you also need a DBA if you are a sole proprietor who does not conduct business under their last name, or if the business name includes unknown owners, like “Smith & Partners.”