So, what exactly is a DBA?
DBA is an acronym for Doing Business as. Your business may want to take on a trade or fictitious name that is not the legal name of your business. Another name for a DBA is a trade name. Each state allows you to register your trade name giving your name protection at the state level. A common misconception is that a trade name is the same as a trademark which is not the case. Trade names are DBAs at the state level, and Trademarks are filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office at the federal level.
In Arizona a DBA is filed as a trade name with the Secretary of State (“SOS”). Registering your trade name with the SOS allows you to operate under a different name from your legal name. Whether it be a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or Corporation each of these businesses can use a DBA. A DBA allows your business to drop the corporate identifier such as “LLC,” “Inc.,” “Limited,” or “Incorporate,” allowing you to simplify your name.
Benefits of DBA
Your DBA does not establish a separate legal entity, but attaches to your current legal entity. The benefits of filing a DBA include the following:
Whether you are establishing a new business or selling a new product, a DBA allows you to build a brand name that is difference from your business entity’s name. For example, if your business is called NewCo, LLC and you have a product that you want to build a brand around you do not have to call it NewCo, LLC. A DBA would allow you to call your product for example a “Widget.” Or if you are wanting to build a service a DBA would allow you brand the service you are offering under a different name.
Many Sole proprietors use their name as their business name. A DBA allows the sole proprietor to remain anonymous and not put their name out in commerce . The DBA allows the business owner to maintain privacy while still reaching out to customers under a different that allows the business owner to build a brand around while maintaining your privacy.
3. Introduction of New Business or Product Name
A DBA allows you to add or introduce new products or services to customers without changing your business name for each product or service being offered. By doing this it lays claim to your name which is very important when filing for trademark protection under the USPTO.
Filing a DBA in Arizona
To register a DBA in Arizona, you must file it through the Arizona Secretary of State. Arizona requires you to complete the Trade Name registration online. The steps for filing a DBA with Arizona’s Secretary of State include the following:
1. Choose a name;
2. Go to the Secretary of State’s website;
3. Enter the desired Trade name and fill out the other box’s as prompted;
4. Pay the Fee and then wait for approval.
If you need any help filing a DBA or trademark please contact one of our attorney to discuss your options and the benefits of each.
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