DBA Definition

Doing Business As

DBA stands for “Doing Business As,” which is a company name, also commonly called a “fictitious business name”, “trade name” or “assumed name”. A DBA is a secondary name for your business, an officially licensed “alias” if you will.

When a sole proprietor operates a company using any name except his or her own given name, then the DBA or ficticious business name registration establishes the legal ownership to satisfy banks, local authorities, customers, etc.

For example, Anita Cantor runs a salsa dance business and marries Scott Beckenbauer. After being wed she takes her husband’s last name, but to keep her business’s branding in tact, she files a DBA name to operate under her original name. Thus, her DBA filing allows her to continue doing business as “Anita Cantor”, while still keeping Beckenbauer as her legal last name. Great branding strategy!

Even established corporations benefit from filing DBA’s if they want to change their business name or operate under a different name. For example, MTS Inc. has a registered DBA under the name Tower Records.

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