Good names help businesses stand out from the competition. These names are easy to remember and are often associated with what the business owners have in mind. Not all businesses are able to use the names they want, however. Sole proprietorships, for example, are registered using the sole proprietor’s legal name. In cases such as these, entrepreneurs like you can use DBAs so your businesses can run by another name.
What Is a DBA?
DBA is an abbreviation that stands for “doing business as.” It’s a fictitious name that can be used for registered businesses that are different from its legal name. DBAs are normally used to allow owners to operate under another moniker that makes it easier for potential customers to remember them.
Nevada requires all businesses, whether sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, LLPs, and corporations, to file for DBAs if they plan to use another name for their business. DBAs are not separate entities like Nevada LLCs. A DBA doesn’t carry any other legal benefit except to be acknowledged using another name.
What Are The Advantages Of A DBA In Nevada?
There are many benefits to having DBAs. In fact, businesses that are thinking of using a DBA can expect to enjoy the following:
An easier way to operate under another name
DBAs are easy to get in Nevada. The process is straightforward and will not take a long time to finish. Because of this, businesses in Nevada that apply for new DBAs will be able to use them for whatever purposes sooner than when they try to apply for a new business. It’s cheaper, too.
More privacy for sole proprietors
Imagine you’re a sole proprietor named Kelsey Johnson, and you want to create promotional flyers for your new food business. The thing is, your flyers will have your name posted on them because that’s your business’s name. If you value your privacy, chances are you wouldn’t want that. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this dilemma—a DBA.
DBAs are legal aliases that do not replace your business’s name in your county’s and Secretary of State’s records. This means that with a DBA, Kelsey’s food venture can have the name “Healthy Bites” on the posters instead of “Kelsey Johnson.”
DBAs help business owners protect their personal banking details using a fictitious name. While DBAs do not provide personal asset protection like LLCs and corporations, they allow business owners to create bank accounts using another name.
Boost in branding
Business owners can use DBAs to establish their chosen brand further. A sole proprietor named Oscar Brown will attract musicians better using the name “Oscar’s Music Store.” LLCs named Clothingware LLC will be able to market products better using DBAs like “Shirtfit” for tops, “Tough Jeans” for bottoms, and “SolePads” for footwear. With DBAs, entrepreneurs have limitless branding potential using creative and unique DBAs designed for their specific brands.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A DBA In Nevada?
With all of the benefits DBAs offer, they virtually have no disadvantages that could negatively impact a business. That said, there are some limitations that business owners should know about them.
First, Doing business does not offer personal asset protection. Unlike LLCs and corporations, a DBA does not protect the owner’s personal assets in the event that the business gets sued. Entrepreneurs should get insured to get that protection.
Second, Nevada has some naming restrictions on DBAs. In particular, the state requires that DBAs must not include the following:
- Words and abbreviations such as “Incorporated,” “Inc.,” or “LLC” unless your business is incorporated, an LLC, and so on.
- Words related to architecture unless you have been given prior approval by the Nevada State Board of Architecture, Interior Design, and Residential Design. These words include “architect,” “licensed architect,” “architecture,” “interior,” licensed residential designer,” and so on.
- Words related to financial institutions unless you have the Nevada Commissioner of Financial Institution’s approval. Words or phrases include: “bank,” “banc,” “credit union,” and so on.
- Words or abbreviations related to accounting unless you have been given permission by the Nevada State Board of Accounting. These words include “accountant,” “accounting,” “CPA,” “auditing,” “auditor,” and so on.
- Words related to mortgage lending companies unless you have been given permission by the Nevada Commissioner of Mortgage. Words include “mortgage,” “financial,” and so on.
- Words related to engineering unless you have been granted permission by the Nevada State Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors. Words include “engineer,” “engineering,” and so on.
This means business owners won’t be able to use anything that comes to mind as an alias. DBAs should meet Nevada’s business name standards to be approved.
How To Get A DBA In Nevada
Now, let’s discuss the process of filing for DBAs in Nevada. The process is easy, but you’ll need to follow the steps correctly to get your preferred DBA registered.
Search for your fictitious name
First, search for your preferred fictitious business name in your county clerk’s office. DBA registrations are done at the county clerk, so verify if your preferred alias is allowed there. Remember that even though your preferred DBA is already registered, others can still use the same name for their venture. Try your best to create a unique name that meets Nevada’s naming requirements.
File your DBA with your county clerk in Nevada
Next, once you have verified that your preferred fictitious name is available and allowed, download a Fictitious Firm Name Statement Form from your county’s website. There’s a separate form for LLCs, so download the one that applies to your business. Fill out the form, submit it to your county clerk in person or by mail, and pay the registration fee.
It will take about 7-10 business days for Nevada to process your new DBA. Nevada does not offer expedited processing services for DBAs, so file as soon as possible if you want to use an alias for your business.
How Much Is A DBA In Nevada?
Nevada’s fees for DBAs differ from other states. Filing for a DBA in any county in Nevada costs $25 each. You will get one copy of your notarized Fictitious Firm Name Statement. If you want to have more copies, you will need to pay an additional $6 for one certified copy and $0.50 for each extra.
A new DBA in Nevada lasts for five years. Once yours expires, you need to complete the same form you used when filing it for the first time, then submit it to your county clerk, along with a $25 filing fee.
DBAs are the easiest and most cost-effective way for businesses to transact with customers using another name. They are easy to get, affordable, and give their owners many benefits, including privacy, a boost in their branding, and better marketing opportunities. Nevada requires all businesses that plan to use other names to apply for at least one DBA. If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to grow your business in Nevada, you should get a DBA.
Frequently Asked Questions About A DBA
Here are the most commonly asked questions about forming a DBA:
Yes. Your Nevada business can have as many DBAs as you want as long as you can pay for filing and subsequent renewal every five years. You need to apply for each DBA individually with the county clerk with whom you primarily do business.
No. Your Nevada DBA will not protect your personal assets. Personal asset protection is given to LLCs and corporations. Your DBA only acts as an alias or fictitious name, so you can gain more privacy when doing business in Nevada.
No. DBAs are fictitious names existing businesses use for a variety of reasons, but they are not separate business entities. They cannot be taxed by the IRS in Nevada.
Yes. To make changes in your DBA in Nevada, you must fill out a new registration form and file it, along with paying the $25 filing fee. It’s like filing for a new DBA.
If you want to change the address associated with your Nevada DBA, you must fill out the Certificate of Business: Fictitious Firm Name Address Change form and submit it to the county clerk. You will not be charged for making changes in the address associated with your DBA.
Yes. You must fill out the Certificate of Business: Fictitious Firm Name Termination form and submit it to the county clerk, along with paying the termination fee of $20.
No. DBAs and trademarks are different. DBAs are fictitious names or aliases a business uses if the owner does not want to use the business’s legal name. Trademarks are intellectual property registrations used to protect your business’s brand. DBAs boost privacy for the entrepreneur, while trademarks protect your brand on a national and local level.
Moreover, Nevada DBAs can be used by several people with no legal issues. Trademarks, on the other hand, give owners the power to legally pursue those who infringe on their intellectual property.