How to File a DBA in All 50 States

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How to File a DBA in All 50 States

If you've ever wanted to do business under a different name without needing to create a whole new business, then a DBA is the solution you need. DBA technically stands for "doing business as," but it's typically used to refer to a company's fictitious name. If a restaurant called Marco's Burgers wants to cater events under the name Marco's Catering, for example, then Marco's Catering would be its DBA.

In most cases, though, you can't just use a new DBA whenever you feel like it — you first need to file it with the local or state government. But it can be confusing to determine what your state's specific requirements are, so we've compiled everything you need to know in one place. Here we're answering some of your most pressing questions about DBAs, including how to file a DBA in all 50 states.

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How to File a DBA in All 50 States

To find out how to file a DBA in all 50 states, use this drop-down menu. Select your state to get all the information you need:

Search by State (e.g. Alabama)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Track Status

Select your state above.

And see results over here

Location_01
Alabama
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
No
Fee
$30
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Office of the Secretary State
Forms available online?

Yes

Location_01
Alaska
Referred to as
DBA
Required?
No
Fee
$25
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Department of Commerce, Corporations Section
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Arizona
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
No
Fee
$10
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Arkansas
Referred to as
Fictitious name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$15 to $25 depending on entity type
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State, as well as the County Clerk unless in Pulaski County
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
California
Referred to as
Fictitious business name (FBN)
Required?
Yes
Fee
Varies by county
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
Yes, in a local newspaper within 30 days of filing, once per week for four consecutive weeks
Must file with
Registrar-Recorder or County Clerk
Forms available online?
Varies by county; for more information check your county's website
Location_01
Colorado
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$20
Length of approval
1 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Connecticut
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$10
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Town clerk
Forms available online?
Varies by town; for more information contact your town clerk or check your town's website
Location_01
Delaware
Referred to as
Trade, business, and fictitious name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
County Prothonotary's Office
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Florida
Referred to as
Fictitious name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$50
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
Yes, in a local newspaper at least once
Must file with
Department of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Georgia
Referred to as
DBA
Required?
Yes, if doing business under a name which does not disclose individual ownership
Fee
Varies by county
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
Yes, in a local newspaper at least once per week for two consecutive weeks
Must file with
Your county's Clerk of the Superior Court
Forms available online?
Varies by county; Contact your Clerk of the Superior Court or visit your county's website for more information
Location_01
Hawaii
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
No
Fee
$50
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Idaho
Referred to as
Assumed business name (ABN)
Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Illinois
Referred to as
Assumed name
Required?
Yes
Fee

$30 to $150 depending on the year of filing; see state guidelines for details

Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
Yes, in a local newspaper within 15 days of DBA approval, once per week for three consecutive weeks
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Indiana
Referred to as
Assumed business name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$26 for nonprofit corporations; $30 for for-profit corporations
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Iowa
Referred to as
Fictitious name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$5
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Kansas
Referred to as
DBAs or fictitious names
Required?
No
Fee
---
Length of approval
---
Public notice required?
---
Must file with
---
Forms available online?
---
Location_01
Kentucky
Referred to as
Assumed name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$20
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State for LLCs and corporations; county clerk for sole proprietorships
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Louisiana
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$75
Length of approval
10 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State, Commercial Division
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Maine
Referred to as
Assumed name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$125
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Maryland
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
State Department of Assessments & Taxations
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Massachusetts
Referred to as
DBA
Required?
Yes, for individuals who are going to do business under a name different than their own
Fee
Varies by town
Length of approval
4 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Town or city clerk's office
Forms available online?
Varies by location; contact your town clerk or city clerk for more information
Location_01
Michigan
Referred to as
Assumed name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$10 for a corporation or limited partnership, or $25 for an LLC
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Minnesota
Referred to as
Assumed name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$30 if submitted by mail, or $50 if submitted online or in-person
Length of approval
1 year
Public notice required?

Yes, in a local qualified Legal Newspaper for two consecutive issues

Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Mississippi
Referred to as
Fictitious business name
Required?
No
Fee
$25
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Missouri
Referred to as
Fictitious name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$7
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State, Corporations Division
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Montana
Referred to as
Assumed business name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$20
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Nebraska
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
No
Fee
$100 online or $110 in-office
Length of approval
10 years
Public notice required?
Yes, once in a local newspaper, with proof of publication filed within 45 days of trade name approval
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Nevada
Referred to as
Fictitious name
Required?
Yes
Fee
Varies by county
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
County clerk
Forms available online?
Varies by county; contact your county clerk for more information
Location_01
New Hampshire
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$50
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State, Corporation Division
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
New Jersey
Referred to as
Alternate name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$50
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
New Mexico
Referred to as
DBA
Required?
No
Fee
---
Length of approval
---
Public notice required?
---
Must file with
---
Forms available online?
---
Location_01
New York
Referred to as
Assumed name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Department of State, Division of Corporations
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
North Carolina
Referred to as
Assumed business name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$26
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with

Your county's Register of Deeds

Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
North Dakota
Referred to as
Trade name
Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Ohio
Referred to as
Fictitious name (does not include exclusive rights) or trade name (does include exclusive rights); for more information see Ohio Revised Code Section 1329.01
Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Oklahoma
Referred to as

Trade name (for business entities) or fictitious name (for individuals)

Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Oregon
Referred to as

Assumed business name

Required?
Yes
Fee
$50
Length of approval
2 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State, Corporation Division
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Pennsylvania
Referred to as

Fictitious name

Required?
Yes
Fee
$70
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?

If the registration includes an individual then notice must be published in two local papers, one of which must be a legal publication

Must file with
Department of State, Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Rhode Island
Referred to as

Fictitious business name

Required?
Yes
Fee
$50
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Department of State, Business Services Division
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
South Carolina
Referred to as

Assumed name

Required?
Yes, but only for limited partnerships
Fee
$10
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
South Dakota
Referred to as

DBA

Required?

Yes, unless certain conditions apply; for more information see South Dakota Codified Laws 37-11-1

Fee
$10
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Tennessee
Referred to as

Assumed name

Required?
Yes, except for sole proprietorships and general partnerships operating under the name of the owner(s)
Fee
$20
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Texas
Referred to as

Assumed name

Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
10 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Utah
Referred to as

DBA

Required?
Yes
Fee
$22
Length of approval
3 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Vermont
Referred to as

Assumed business name

Required?
Yes
Fee
$50
Length of approval
5 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State, Corporations Division
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Virginia
Referred to as

Fictitious name

Required?
Yes
Fee
$10
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
State Corporation Commission
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Washington
Referred to as

Trade name

Required?
Yes, except for sole proprietorships or partnerships operating under the full legal name of the owner(s)
Fee

$5 trade name fee, plus a $19 general filing fee

Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Department of Revenue, Business Licensing Service
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Washington DC
Referred to as

---

Required?
---
Fee
---
Length of approval
---
Public notice required?
---
Must file with
---
Forms available online?
---
Location_01
West Virginia
Referred to as

Trade name

Required?
Yes
Fee
$25
Length of approval
Indefinite
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State, Business and Licensing Division
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Wisconsin
Referred to as

Trade name

Required?
No
Fee
$15
Length of approval
10 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Department of Financial Institutions
Forms available online?
Yes
Location_01
Wyoming
Referred to as

Trade name

Required?
No
Fee
$100
Length of approval
10 years
Public notice required?
No
Must file with
Secretary of State
Forms available online?
Yes

Is a DBA State-Specific?

The freedom that states have to make their own laws and choose their own priorities is one of our country's greatest assets. It also makes for great entertainment — in Arizona, for instance, it's illegal to let a donkey sleep in a bathtub (regardless of the donkey's protests).

But those unique laws can also make things that much more difficult for entrepreneurs. So if you ask how to file a DBA in Texas, the answer will be different than if you ask how to file a DBA in California. And while in some states you can be fined hundreds of dollars for failing to file a DBA, in other states (we're looking at you, Kansas), DBAs aren't even permitted or officially recognized to begin with.

What's more, the government agency you're required to file with varies by state too. So although most states ask business owners to send DBA applications to their Secretary of State, others prefer that you file with the Department of Revenue, Department of Commerce, Department of Licensing or local county clerk instead.

How to File a DBA in Texas

When it comes to filing a DBA in Texas, our drop-down menu above will give you all the details. Here's a quick overview:

In Texas, a DBA is referred to as an Assumed Name. It is required if you are operating a business under any name other than your own legal name. You'll file a form with the Texas Secretary of State and pay a $25 filing fee. Submit your form to the P.O. Box listed, in person to the James Earl Rudder Office Building in Austin or via fax. Your Assumed Name will be good for 10 years.

How to File a DBA in California

Need to know how to file a DBA in California? For starters, it is called a Fictitious Business Name (FBN) in California and it is required if you want to operate your business under a different name than your legal name. Each county in California has different fees and forms, so check your county's website. Keep in mind that there's a public notice requirement for filing a DBA in California. This means you'll need to publish your DBA name in a local newspaper once per week for four consecutive weeks.

How to File a DBA in Florida

The Sunshine State calls its DBA a Fictitious Name. In addition to filing your paperwork with the Department of State, you'll need to advertise your chosen DBA name in a newspaper that is located within the county where your business is located. Florida charges a $25 fee and your name registration will be valid for five years. The easiest way to file a DBA in Florida is online, but you can also send it via the mail.

Why File a DBA?

If the process of obtaining a DBA varies so much from state to state and isn't even allowed in some, then what's the point of getting one at all? It turns out there are several benefits, including:

  • Compliance: Ongoing compliance is a necessary part of small business ownership, and in your state, that could entail filing a DBA.
  • Easy and cheap: If you have an LLC but want to do business under multiple names, filing a DBA is likely far simpler and cheaper than starting multiple new LLCs. In many states, it costs just $25 or less to register a single DBA.
  • Prevention of legal headaches: In some states, your business contracts can't be enforced by the authorities if they're conducted under an unregistered DBA. So, filing a DBA could be the difference between getting the money you're owed and being forced to take the loss.
  • Market testing: If you suspect that your business might do better if it had a slicker, catchier name, then a DBA can allow you to try out that name and test your theory for very little money and time.
  • Claiming a new name: While a DBA doesn't grant you exclusive rights to a business name, it does serve as an official public announcement and record of your intention to operate under that name.
  • Facilitating growth: If your business is expanding into new regions or adding new service lines, DBAs make it possible to use the perfect name for every situation.

How to File a DBA with Incfile

Suffice it to say that unlike letting a donkey sleep in your bathtub, the benefits of filing a DBA outweigh any minor drawbacks. 

Whether you're testing out a new name, expanding into a new area or simply complying with state requirements, a DBA can help you accomplish your goals and ensure your business is primed for success. And now that you know exactly how to file a DBA in your state, getting one of your own will be a breeze. But, if you want a little help and guidance along the way, Incfile is here to help you obtain your DBA, no matter where you live. Check out our full DBA service.

Business Name Not Available in Your State? Or Not Sure Which Business Entity is Right For You? You Need a DBA.

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