As a sole proprietor or an LLC company, you might want to expand your business into different sectors that don’t relate to your current product or service. You might even want to call this expansion of a business under a different name from the existing legal entity that you have, but without having the need to register for a business structure all over again. This is what a DBA is, which stands for Doing Business As.
However, a DBA is not a type of business structure and it cannot protect your personal assets. It is simply a way to expand your business and all taxes are paid under the legal existing entity that you have.
For example, if you have an existing business called ‘Jerry’s Vans’ but you wish to sell chairs under the same legal entity, you can register a DBA and use a fictitious name such as ‘Cool Chairs’. A DBA can be registered in most states, including Florida. In this article, we have broken down the steps on how to file a DBA in Florida.
What Will Your Name Be?
It is important to come up with a unique fictitious name for your brand expansion. You can use free online tools such as the ‘Sunbiz Fictitious Name Search’, which allows you to brainstorm name ideas for your brand. With a DBA in Florida, it can be similar to an existing business name, but it is more advantageous if it’s memorable and stands out. DBA’s cannot include certain terms such as ‘Banks’, ‘Trust Company’, ‘LLC’ or ‘Corp’.
Your Name Has To Be Published
Before you register a DBA in Florida, you have to make a public announcement by publishing it in a newspaper in Florida. It is as if you are giving a legal notice of your new fictitious name that you will be registering as a DBA in Florida. However, there are certain rules to follow before you contact the newspaper publisher.
These rules are:
- Article must be 25% written in English
- The legal notice published must be at least once a week
- It should interest the public and must accepted in the local Post office
- It must be published for a year
- There must be proof of publications
Registering With The State
The third step that needs to be carried out is registering your DBA with the State of Secretary in Florida. There are different fees for this, it is $50 for processing fee, $10 for certificate of status and $30 for certified copy. It is possible to change or withdraw your fictitious name and you can find more information about this online. It is important to remember to renew your DBA within the fifth year by the 31st December. There are two ways to register, first is to file with the Sunbiz fictitious name portal and the second is to register through an online application form. It is a simple procedure, but you need to take your time to fill it out, so that everything is correct.
It’s important to follow these steps in order to be guaranteed a DBA and not face any fines. A DBA is a great way to give a second impression to your business, without needing to set up a business structure. However, you have to remember the fact that it isn’t a type of structure that protects your business or that you need to pay additional taxes for. It is a great benefit to set up your DBA if you wish to expand your service or products online or physically. It is especially beneficial for sole proprietors, since they can even open a business bank account under the fictitious name and operate that way, thus separating their personal assets from their professional ones. However, you can still receive your profit from your DBA under the same bank account if you wish to.