What is a DBA?
DBA is an acronym that stands for “doing business as.” It is also known as a tradename in most Alaska counties. You must file a DBA regardless of the type of business structure that you have set up (sole proprietor, partnership or corporation, LLC or LLC).
If you intend to operate your business under another name than your real name, or an existing corporate name you have, you will need to file a DBA. Your DBA must be registered within forty days after the business’s commencement in Alaska.
- Alaska Secretary of State Website
- Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
- Internal Revenue Service
Alaska Secretary Of StateAlaska Secretary of State
PO Box 110808
Juneau, AK 99811-0808
Why is a DBA Needed in Alaska?
What other things can you do with DBA? Registering a fictitious Alaskan name will give you a few more benefits.
- Ability to open a bank account for your business. Inability to issue or receive checks using your personal account. A DBA is required to open a bank account in your startup’s name. Most banks require a certified copy. You can collect checks and pay under the company name once you have opened a business bank account.
- Public advertising. Once you have registered your business name, you can start advertising and marketing publicly under the DBA. This will increase your business’ visibility.
- Establish a separate business identity. Small companies look more professional when they apply for a DBA. They can use the assumed name to create a separate business identity that is available to customers and vendors. This allows you to present the business professionally.
- Refrain from using your name. This will help you protect your brand and deter others from using your name.
1. Decide whether you will need to register a DBA.
First, determine if a DBA is right for you. A few situations are common where registering a DBA is most beneficial.
- Sole Proprietors: Let’s say Jane Smith is a graphic artist who works as a sole proprietorship. There are no LLCs or corporations formed. She might want to do business with clients under the name “Designs by Jane” and open a bank account. She could do this by filing a DBA under the name Designs by Jane.
- LLC/Corporations: If you already have an LLC or Corporation, you can register another name for the business with the state. Let’s suppose you have an LLC for your auto repair company under the name “Alaska Auto Repair”, but now want to expand your business into automotive detailing. As a second name, you could file a DBA to “Alaska Auto Detailing” This will ensure that you keep the two business activities separate.
- LLC/Corporations: Your corporation or LLC may have an indicator in Alaska. This could be Inc or L.L.C.
2. Select your DBA name
Next, you will need to choose a name for registration. There are some simple rules that you should keep in mind when choosing a name for Alaska.
- There are no identical or similar fictitious names for Alaska. A DBA cannot deceive the public by appearing similar to another business name.
- A DBA name can’t include corporate indicators, such as Corp or LLC, nor any words that suggest an entity type unless the company has been incorporated either as an LLC or corporation. This is to stop a sole proprietor from posing as an incorporated business.
How can you determine if there is a DBA available in Alaska?
Once you have selected a name that meets these guidelines, there are several options you can use to check if it is available for registration. You can start by searching Google for Alaska businesses that have the same name.
Although it does not necessarily prove that the name you are interested in is available, it can help to filter out names that have been taken. It is possible to check if the domain you are looking for is available. You will likely need a domain that matches your business name.
3. Prepare the application to assume a name
Once you have established that the name is eligible for registration and your business classification, you can now complete the business name registration with the Alaska Secretary of State. You must file your DBA in that county. The following information is required by most Alaska counties in order to complete their applications:
- Name of unincorporated or DBA company
- Alaska business license number (mandatory)
- Ownership (check to see if you are a sole proprietor, partnership or an entity such as an LLC or corporation).
- Addresses for physical and postal business
- Name and address of the business owner
- If the business is owned jointly, name and address of the owner
- The nature of the business
- Signature, date, and print name
After you have completed the DBA Application, send this form along with the $25 non-refundable filing fee to the address below. Make a check payable to the State of Alaska.