What Does A DBA Allow You To Do?

As a new small or large business owner there are still many things that you need to learn about. Sometimes you may already be informed, but there are other times that you are just learning along the way. Gaining a DBA may be one of those times where you are learning about it at the time, in order to benefit your company. 

In order to help better understand what a DBA is and what you can do with it, we have listed a few points below that may just help guide you along the way.


What is a DBA?

DBA stands for “doing business as”, which is a registered name that your business can operate under. Consider it like a second name that is a nickname for your business, so that it is easier for your clients to remember. An example is that the famous fast food chain is legally called McDonalds, but it’s famously known nickname is Maccy D’s. Therefore, a DBA is not the official legal name that your business is called, but it is a registered trade name or nickname for your business.

What can you do with a DBA?

If you are a business that is looking to expand your services or products, you would need a trade name legally registered for this. That is when a DBA comes in and you are required to register for one. Another reason why you need a DBA is that if you are an unregistered business such as a partnership or sole proprietorship and you’d like to operate under a different name that’s not your personal name, then you can register a DBA. For example, your personal name may be ‘John Smith’, but you can call your sole proprietorship ‘Buy Mini market.’ This is only suitable for businesses that are at a low risk and don’t earn much profit.


Having a DBA can assist the business when it comes to banking and branding the business. With a DBA you can get expanded branding, increased privacy and access to business banking. You don’t necessarily need a separate bank account when getting a DBA, but it can come useful for financial organisation. You can get a DBA by registering with a fee, depending on which state you are registering in. The price can vary anywhere between $10 to $100, which there are state guides to look at for registering. When registering a DBA, it has to be listed exactly how you want it and may sometimes need to be published in the local newspaper, depending on the state you’re in. 

What can’t you do with a DBA?

A DBA doesn’t legally protect your business or form a business structure. In order to have your personal and professional assets protected and an organisational structure, you would need an LLC. With a DBA you are simply just creating a sole proprietorship for your business. When it comes to filing taxes, they do not need to be separated since a DBA is not a separate legal entity. Instead, all businesses that are conducted under the DBA have to be filed as a legal entity for tax purposes.

Our say

Getting a DBA can be beneficial for your business – if you are looking to expand it. By getting a DBA, it can bring a great impression to your business, so that it can be easier for clients to remember your trade name or nickname. It is also beneficial for someone whose business is a partnership or sole proprietor, so that they don’t have to use their personal name. If you are looking for an economical approach, registering a DBA is the way forward, since it is cheaper but it doesn’t have the benefits of an LLC. If you are looking for personal liability protection, it is better to head for the direction of getting an LLC, for it can offer those types of benefits.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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