What is a DBA

DBA or "Doing Business As" The DBA is a certificate that registers your fictitious business name in your locality (town, county, state). You could think of it as a permit or license. When you want to conduct business as a sole-proprietorship or LLC, you will probably want to have a business name other than your own name. For example if you start a painting business and you want the business name to be "House Painter Pros", you will need to file for a DBA certificate linking the business name "House Painter Pros" to you or your LLC. The DBA can be referred to by other terms such as: Fictitious Name, Assumed Name, Alias, or Trade Name. Most states (but not all) require that you register for a DBA to conduct business with a name other than your personal name (or LLC name). I have setup businesses in Texas and Connecticut. In both of those states the DBA registration happened at the town or county level. Also, when you go to open a checking account with that business name, the bank will want a copy of the DBA certificate. The key reason this is important is that if you want your customers to be able to write a check to "House Painters Pro", you'll have to have a checking account in that name in order to cash or deposit the check. The process is not hard. Do a little Internet research for the locality where you intend to setup your business. In my experience, the form is usually simple and only one page. The fee has usually been $10-$30 and is good for 10 years. Before you make a final decision on a business name, I recommend you read my "Choosing a Business Name"