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 State

Arizona Secretary of State
PO Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36103-5616

Website: azsos.gov

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.

  1. There are no identical or similar fictitious names available in Arizona. A DBA cannot deceive the public by appearing similar to another business name.
  2. 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.

  1. Name of the company, street address, city and state of the business, as well as telephone number
  2. Type of business entity that the company is formed
  3. If applicable, list the names and addresses of your partners
  4. Description of the trade name to register
  5. Description of the goods, services or business that are offered under the trade name
  6. How will the trade name be used in commerce
  7. Type and number of classifications
  8. Mark type (pick tradename)
  9. When was the first trade name used?
  10. Alabama Trade Names First Used Date
  11. Email address
  12. 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.

Arizona Business Tips

Forming an LLC in Arizona involves several key steps and considerations. To begin, you must complete the necessary paperwork and filings to form an LLC in Arizona.

Conducting a thorough Arizona LLC name search is crucial when starting an AZ business to ensure that your desired business name is available and meets the state’s requirements and get your Arizona entity name registered or if you just file a DBA in Arizona if necessary.

Additionally, drafting a Arizona LLC operating agreement is essential as it outlines the internal management structure and operational guidelines for your LLC.

While you have the option to be your own registered agent in Arizona, many entrepreneurs opt to enlist the services of professional registered agents for their expertise and convenience. The length of time it takes to get an LLC in Arizona can vary depending on various factors such as processing times and the complexity of your application.

Alongside the formation process, you’ll need to obtain a Arizona Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, which is necessary for tax purposes. To streamline the process and ensure compliance, it is advisable to seek the assistance of the top-rated LLC services in Arizona and the best registered agents in Arizona, who can guide you through the process and handle the necessary documentation.

Understanding the associated costs to form an LLC in Arizona is crucial, as it includes filing fees and potentially additional expenses based on the services you require.

Lastly, if you ever need to change your Arizona registered agent or dissolve an LLC in Arizona, it’s important to follow the state’s dissolution procedures to conclude your business operations effectively.

author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email:   info@llcradar.com Phone: 972-776-4050
  Information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to offer legal advice specific to your business needs. If you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Rankings and reviews are the personal opinions of the authors and/or editors. For questions, while starting a business, we recommend consulting with an attorney or accountant.