THE DBA GUIDE
What you need to know if you want to "Do Business As" a fictitious business name.
WHAT IS A DBA AND WHEN DO I NEED ONE?
A DBA is like a name tag for your business. It is not a separate legal entity, rather it is a license from the county that grants your business entity permission to conduct business under a different name (a.k.a a fictitious business name, because its not your real name).
Here are a few examples:
- Sole Proprietors - If you are running your venture as a sole-proprietor, and your business name is different than your legal name as an individual, you will need a DBA.
- Business Entities - If you are running your venture through a corporation or LLC, and you want to run a business with a name that is different than the legal name of your corporation or LLC, then you will need a DBA.
HOW DO I REGISTER A DBA?
The paperwork to register your DBA is relatively simple, but you will need to either sign the documents in-person at the county clerk's office or have them notarized and mailed in. Instructions are below:
Step One: Prepare the Paperwork
NOTE: If you're working with us, we will complete Step One for you, and you can proceed to Step Two to file your paperwork.
1. You can prepare paperwork for your Los Angeles County DBA here.
2. Select whether you will mail-in a notarized application or if you will file in-person
3. Using the online form, follow the prompts to prepare the paperwork.
4. If you are registering a DBA that will be owned by an LLC or Corporation, you may need to order a certificate of good standing from the state in which you are registered and submit that with your filing.
Step Two: File your Paperwork
By Mail with Notary - If you prefer to have the documents notarized and mailed in, schedule an appointment with a notary and sign the documents in their presence. Then mail the completed forms with the corresponding County filing fee payment.
In Person - If you prefer to sign the documents in person at the County Clerk's office, bring your receipt with you to one of the listed County Clerk's offices to sign there.
Los Angeles County Filing Fees - $26 plus $5 for each additional DBA if multiple names are filed. (i.e. $26 for one DBA or $31 for two, $36 for three etc.)
Step Three: Publish Your Name
Finally, you will need to publish your DBA in a local newspaper. There are plenty of companies that will do this for you for around $30+, just google "Los Angeles County DBA Publication". They can also file the required proof of publication with the County Clerk's office once complete, which will finalize your registration.
You will need to renew your DBA every five years by submitting a renewal form with the county clerks office if you want to keep using the DBA.