What is “Doing Business As” (DBA) & What are the Benefits?

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As a rule of thumb, many small and independent businesses have a “Doing Business As” name registered to their establishment. The phrase refers to a company’s ownership structure. In other circumstances, store owners may want to just register their store name as the DBA or avoid having one at all. Business owners that choose not to establish a DBA, on the other hand, may face substantial difficulties.

There is a restaurant in Dallas called The Taco House, Let’s say that their DBA is called Texas Holdings. The restaurant is so popular that the owner wants to open a second store in a Latino area in Houston, which he wants to call El Taco Groceria. If there is no DBA or if there is one listed as The Taco House, changing the name for a new site will be difficult, if not impossible.

If this becomes a problem, the proprietor can alter the name at any moment. They’d keep the Texas Holdings corporate name, but they wouldn’t be restricted in terms of the public retail name.

It’s also difficult to modify a DBA since it necessitates going through the federal government. In that case, company owners should carefully select their DBA. Don’t make the mistake of using the same DBA as your business name, only to have to change it when your company expands. It may be easier and require less effort for skipping a DBA, but it is likely to generate tension in the long run.

Filing for a DBA is a very simple procedure. There are filing costs and paperwork to contend with, but all you have to do is submit the documents to county clerks or the state government. In some states, DBAs are required by law. If they aren’t, don’t pass them up. They can help keep your business compliant, make banking easier, get a Federal Tax ID, and build a retail website.

In addition, according to bluehost.com, a DBA is less expensive than operating under a separate legal entity which gives the store owner more privacy. This way they won’t have to give out their name or other sensitive information for the business. By having a DBA, it adds legitimacy to your business and can be beneficial for branding or marketing campaigns.

The advantages of registering a DBA for your company significantly outweigh the disadvantages. To learn about DBA regulations in your state and to take advantage of the many benefits of establishing a DBA, contact your local county clerk’s office or state government agencies.

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