Do You Need a DBA?

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. You can find a step-by-step guide to setting up your company legally with The Small Business Checklist.

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.”

How to Start Your Company

Are you ready to start your company legally? You came to the right place! Download The Small Business Checklist. We’ve worked with hundreds of women to setup their business legally and we’re teaching you how to do it in 10 simple steps.



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