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Depending on where your business has been formed or incorporated, you may need to file for your DBA at either the state, county, or possibly even the city level. It should also be noted that you would need to acquire a DBA to operate locally if your business was established in a foreign state.
The first step when filing for a DBA is to do a preliminary check for name availability in the jurisdiction in which you will be filing. If the name is available, you will then need to fill out the required paperwork with the appropriate agency, and then pay any related fees. Some jurisdictions will also require that you publish a notice (or notices) of your company’s new alias.
A DBA cannot be used to mislead the general public in any way. Because of this, you cannot use any terms that would lead the public to believe that you operate as a business structure under which you have not officially filed. For example, a sole proprietorship may not use the terms “company” or “incorporated” in its DBA, as this would send the message that the business was formally incorporated when it, in fact, is not.
Some states do require that any business that acquires a DBA run a public notice in a local newspaper. Depending on where you are located, the exact details will vary. Our DBA filing service includes the fulfillment of any publications that your local jurisdiction requires.
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