What’s a DBA?
DBA stands for “doing business as.” It is also known as a FBN (fictitious business name) in most Arizona 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 existing corporate name, you will need to file a DBA. You must file your DBA in Arizona within 40 days after the business is started.
AZ Secretary Of StateArizona Secretary of State
PO Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36103-5616
Arizona Corporate Commission
Why is a DBA Needed in Arizona?
Registering a fictitious name in Arizona will give you a few more benefits.
- Ability to open a bank account for your business. Inability to use your personal account to issue or receive checks in your business name. 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 “Arizona Auto Repair”, but now want to expand your business into automotive detailing. As a second name, you could file a DBA to “Arizona Auto Detailing” This will ensure that you keep the two business activities separate.
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 Arizona.
- There are no identical or similar fictitious names available in Arizona. 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 Arizona?
There are several options you have. You can use the Arizona Corporation Commission’s entity searching tool to find out if a name exists. You can search for business names that begin with certain words or contain certain words. You can also search for statutory agent names and entity IDs.
3. Prepare the application to register a fictitious company name.
Once you’ve determined that the name is available for registration, it is time to file the necessary forms with your county. It is crucial that your DBA be filed in the county where your business will be operated. Arizona has similar requirements for basic information.
- Name of the company, street address, city and state of the business, as well as telephone number
- Type of business entity that the company is formed
- If applicable, list the names and addresses of your partners
- Description of the trade name to register
- Description of the goods, services or business that are offered under the trade name
- How will the trade name be used in commerce
- Type and number of classifications
- Mark type (pick tradename)
- When was the first trade name used?
- Alabama Trade Names First Used Date
- Email address
- Name, title, signature, and date
After you have submitted the application, the filing form and $30 fee must be returned to the Office Secretary of State.