Have you ever seen a business name that just pops? The type of name stops you in your tracks?
Maybe it makes you think or feel something. Or it may bring out a chuckle. A good name can take your business to another level.
If you have a great idea for a business name, then a DBA could be a great option. But as helpful as they are, DBAs can also be a bit confusing.
What Is a DBA?
DBA stands for “doing business as.” Another term for a DBA in Texas is “assumed name.” A DBA can be used as an alternate name for your business. DBAs are very common and used by individuals, LLCs, and other entities.
Is a DBA the Same Thing As an LLC?
A DBA and an LLC are very different things. A DBA is simply another name for your business. In contrast, an LLC is a type of business entity under Texas law.
There are a number of benefits that an LLC offers—for example, liability protection, asset protection, and certain tax advantages.
That said, LLC owners can— and often do—apply for DBAs for their LLCs. We are happy to discuss LLC formation with you more if you would like to know more.
Why Would You Want a DBA?
A DBA allows you to operate your business under another name. For example, if you are an artist named Mary Smith, a DBA could allow you to operate as “Art by Mary” or “Mary’s Masterpieces” even though the official name of your LLC is “Mary Smith Enterprises, LLC.”
So, a DBA can be great for marketability and name recognition. You can see how a DBA allows you to pick a name that is catchy or stands in a crowded field of competitors.
A DBA also offers some privacy protection by allowing you to do business under an assumed name and not your actual name.
After all, you might not want to have your first and last name widely circulated every time you advertise your business’s services. A DBA can be a great way to avoid such problems.
That said, a DBA does not offer liability protection in and of itself; liability protection comes from the nature of the legal entity (e.g., an LLC) you have chosen for your business.
How Do You File a DBA?
You can usually file for a Texas DBA through the Texas Secretary of State or the counties you do business in.
Be aware that there is a small fee associated with filing for a DBA and that you have to renew your registration of the DBA after 10 years.
Our experienced team can assist you with filing your DBA. We can also provide additional guidance with regard to your business name in Texas.
Can an LLC Have Multiple DBAs?
Texas does not have a cap on the number of DBAs you can file. That said, you will need to file each DBA on its own.
This also means you may need to pay a fee for each DBA. You also need to determine if multiple DBAs are a good thing for your business.
Why Would You Want Multiple DBAs?
Multiple DBAs can be good when you offer numerous products and services. You could file a DBA for each major product and service that you offer.
If you operate a lawn care business and a painting business, for example, you could file separate DBAs for each operation that reflect the focus of the business service you are trying to promote.
But be aware that having too many DBAs for the same service or product can sometimes arouse suspicion or cause confusion among customers.
Can Two LLCs Have the Same DBA?
Technically, Texas Law does not prevent two businesses from using the same DBA. This does not mean you can use an assumed name to commit fraud or harass another business. This also does not prevent potential trademark issues that could arise by using a DBA that is too similar to an existing business.
What Can We Do for You?
Once you find a name that pops, we can help make it yours. Whether you’re interested in registering your DBA or forming an LLC, we would love to speak to you.