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What is a DBA & do I need one? For immigrant business owners

Did you know that sole proprietors are required to conduct business under the legal name of the owner? A DBA allows business owners to conduct business under a name separate from their own or the formal name of their company.

What is a DBA?

DBA means "doing business as." A DBA is permission from the state/County to operate your business under a different name. A DBA is sometimes called a trade name, fictitious name, or assumed name. It can cost anywhere from $10-$100 a year, depending on the state or County your business is in. A DBA isn’t required to form or run a business.

Common DBA Misunderstandings?

A DBA isn't a type of business structure. A DBA is a fictitious name that can be used by sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations for branding purposes and doesn't provide any personal asset protection like an LLC or corporation.

Example of a DBA

If Joseph Ramirez is a freelance website designer and a sole proprietor, his business will operate under the name “Joseph Ramirez” unless he chooses to register a DBA name like “Joseph Ramirez Web Design” or “Web 3 Design Services”. After registering his DBA, Joseph’s full name isn’t legally attached to his business’s name.

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