Properly using a DBA or a trade name with your LLC comes with understanding what a DBA is.  And now, you’re like, “well what’s a DBA?” DBA stands for “doing business as.” Although, some states use different names and terms for DBA. For instance, Colorado refers to it as a “trade name,” while some other states call it a fictitious name or assumed name. The bottom line is that no matter the term used, it’s all pretty much the same. Simply put, a DBA is like your business’s nickname.

Properly Using a DBA or Trade Name

First off, registering a DBA or a trade name is not the same as registering a trademark. Trademark rights apply to DBAs the same way they apply to any other business name or brand. However, registering a DBA or tradename doesn’t offer the same rights or benefits as a registered trademark. It doesn’t even offer the same benefits as state-level trademark registration.

Every state is different but typically you register a DBA by filing some sort of form with the Secretary of State in the state where your business is located or registered. Let me elaborate by using Colorado since that is where I’m licensed. Speaking of, if you’re in Colorado and need an attorney to help you with this, you can contact me here. Enough of my shameless plug and back to the example of filing for a trade name in Colorado.

In Colorado, we would use a form called “Statement of Trade Name of a Reporting Entity” to register a DBA or trade name for an LLC. Though it’s a bit different when it comes to registering one for a sole-proprietor. If we were to register a trade name for a sole-proprietorship in Colorado, we would use a “Statement of Trade Name of an Individual.” You’re probably thinking, “why the difference?” Well, it’s because sole-proprietorships is technically the individual so it’s the trade name of the individual.

Tune in to this week’s episode of All Up In Yo’ Business to learn more about how to properly use a DBA. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more All Up In Yo’ Business! 

Want more information on LLCs? Check out: I Formed My LLC. Now What?