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Step By Step Guide

How to File a DBA in New York

Filing a DBA (also known as Doing Business As) allows you to operate and receive payments under a name that is different from your legal business name. This helps you create an identity for your business that presents it in a professional light to customers and vendors, while allowing customers to write you checks and make payments directly to the business name you have chosen. Follow our step by step guide or let us handle the paperwork on your behalf, ensuring your business is filed quickly and accurately.

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Why start and file a DBA in New York?

The state of New York is home to more than 1.5 million small businesses, which employ an estimated 4 million people across the state. Small businesses in New York employ over 50% of the state's workforce, making startups and small businesses critical to the state's economic health. Thanks to its diverse and well-educated population, New York offers small businesses an excellent source of skilled talent to tap into to create a successful business. Some of the world's largest companies have their roots in New York, including NBC, J.P. Morgan Chase, Time Warner, HBO, and AOL, among many others.

New York also offer ample opportunities to seek outside business investors. With a robust business climate and highly skilled workforce, the promise of prosperity creates incentives for investment in New York businesses.

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MyCorporation® can help you file all of the necessary documents to file your DBA in New York.

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Our free guide provides you with all of the information you'll need to file your DBA in New York. Bookmark this page as a reference so you can return easily as you complete each step of the process.

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How to File a DBA in New York

For those unfamiliar with the acronym, DBA stands for "doing business as." In most New York counties, it is referred to as an Assumed Name.

No matter which type of business structure you have incorporated as (sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or LLC), if you plan to operate your business under a name different than your real name or an existing corporate name, then you need to file a DBA in New York.

In New York, you must register your DBA within 40 days of the commencement of the business.

  • The ability to open a business bank account. You are unable to use your personal bank account to issue or receive checks under your business name. Filing for a DBA allows you to open a bank account under your startup's name, as most banks will require a certified copy of your DBA before you can open an account. Once you have a business bank account, you may collect checks and payments under your company's name.
  • Public advertising. Now that you have registered your official business name, you may begin publicly advertising and marketing under the DBA. This will help increase the visibility of your business
  • Create a separate business identity. Small businesses look much more professional once they file for a DBA. The assumed name allows them to establish a separate business identity for customers and vendors. This allows you to present your business in a professional light.
  • Discourage others from usage. You'll be able to protect your brand and discourage others from registering your name by officially registering your DBA.

The first step is determining if a DBA is right for you. There are a few common situations where registering a DBA makes the most sense:

  • Sole Proprietors: Let's suppose Jane Smith is a graphic designer doing work as a sole proprietorship (no LLC or corporation formed). She may wish to conduct business with her clients as "Designs by Jane," as well as open a bank account and accept checks under that name. Filing a DBA for the name Designs by Jane would allow her to do so.
  • LLC/Corporations: In the case that you have already filed an LLC or Corporation for your business, you may register another name for your business with the state. Let's say you filed an LLC for your auto repair business under the name "L.A. First Auto Repair" but have decided to expand your business into auto detailing. You could file a DBA in New York for "L.A. First Auto Detailing" as a second name for your business. Doing this ensures you keep these two separate business activities distinct.
  • LLC/Corporations:
    In New York, your corporation or LLC's full legal name may include an indicator (such as Inc or L.L.C). If your company's full name is "Doggie Day Care, INC," but you wish to operate your business as "Doggie Day Care," you would file for a DBA without the indicator.
Tip: In New York, if you operate a sole proprietorship that contains your surname (e.g., "Smith Lawncare Services"), then you do not need to register a DBA.

The next important step seems obvious: you'll need to decide on a name to register. In New York, there are a few simple rules to keep in mind as you come up with a name.

  1. No two fictitious names in New York can be similar or the exact same. In other words, a DBA cannot mislead the public by being deceptively similar to any other business name.
  2. A DBA name cannot include a corporate indicator, like Corp or LLC, or any other words that imply an entity type, unless the business has been incorporated as an LLC or corporation. This is to prevent a sole proprietor from posing as an incorporated business.

How do you find out if a DBA name is available in New York?

There are a few approaches you can take once you have chosen a name that meets the guidelines listed above in order to determine if the name is available to register. One basic approach is to do a Google search for other New York businesses with the same name.

While it may not prove that the name you want to register is available, it is an easy way to weed out any names that are already taken. You can also check to see if the web domain for your business name is available, since it is likely you will need a website domain that matches your company name.

Another, more reliable approach is to conduct a New York DBA Name search. MyCorporation may complete a thorough business name search on your behalf, and report back the findings to help you avoid unnecessary rejections.

Tip: Even when the DBA name has been checked, you should avoid ordering business cards and advertising signage until you receive notification of filing from the Secretary of State.

In New York, sole-proprietorships, general partnerships, and limited liability partnerships file their Certificate of Assumed Name at the county level. All other business entities need to file the DBA form with the New York Department of State. Here are some additional resources on the state website on where to file a Certificate of Assumed Name in New York:

Now that you have determined the name is available for registration, it's time to complete the filing with the forms provided by your county. It is important that you file your DBA in the county where you plan on operating your business. Most counties in New York require similar, basic information:

  1. Your name and address
  2. Your fictitious business name(s)
  3. The address and mailing address of your business. P.O. Box numbers are not acceptable as a business address when used alone without a street address.
  4. The full name of the registered owners
  5. Your Corporation or LLC identification number provided by New York, if the DBA is for a corporation or LLC.
  6. The entity type of business you have (Corporation, LLC, etc.)

Once you have completed the application, you will submit it to the county registrar for approval either via mail, or deliver in-person. The fee is $25 for filing a Certificate of Assumed Name in New York as an LLC or limited partnership business. Fees for corporations are $25, plus $100 for each county within New York City and $25 for each non-NYC county.

Tip: Most counties in New York will allow you to register multiple fictitious names at a time if desired.

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We hope you find this detailed list of steps makes the process of registering a doing business as name (DBA) a bit more simplified for you. However, we understand that filing a DBA for your business can be confusing and time-consuming process. That's why MyCorporation offers DBA filing services for businesses in all 62 counties across New York.

Our experts will complete the forms for your county, check its registration status, and even publish the DBA notice where required. All you need do is sign and return a few documents in our prelabeled envelope. You'll receive the approval and publication certificate for your records without any heavy lifting.

We make filing a DBA in New York easy.

Operate your business under your business name, open a bank account for your business, and build credibility without all of the hassle. MyCorporation will handle the paperwork for you, so you can focus on building your business.

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New York DBA Frequently Asked Questions

No. A business license is required of all businesses, whereas a DBA is required only if the business is operating under a name different from the name of the owner.

In New York, all businesses are required to file for a general business license (sometimes referred to as a business tax certificate). Business licenses are issued by cities and municipalities, and every city in New York differs in their requirements. If you plan on operating your business in multiple cities, you will need to apply for a business license in each location.

Some additional permits may be required in addition to a general business license, which may need to be filed with the county or the state. You can find out about the specific licenses applicable to your business by checking with the city offices where you will conduct business, or by using MyCorporation's business license compliance package. Our team of skilled professionals will identify the licenses required by your business and provide you with all the information you need to file.

In a pinch, you can also check out the New York Business Permits Assistance Program Opens in a new tab (OPAL). OPAL helps businesses find appropriate permit information. Contact the county, city, town, or village clerk if you have more questions about local licensing and permits for your LLC.

A DBA does not grant exclusivity for the use of a business name. DBAs identify the business and claim the business's name, but they only claim the name itself. Once you file for a DBA, the name cannot be used by another business on the state level. However, if a business in a different state wanted to register the same DBA as your business, they could so long as no other business in their state had already claimed that name. It is also possible to trademark a DBA. This would offer nationwide protection against infringement.

A Certificate of Assumed Name does not require renewal once approved by the state and county.

Filing a DBA in New York will not impact your taxes, as it does not alter your tax status. Only the name you conduct business as will change. The structure of your business is what determines how you will be taxed (sole proprietor, corporation, LLC, etc.), so you will continue to pay taxes as usual after filing a DBA.

If you are not planning to continue using your DBA, you can file a statement of abandonment with the county clerk where you registered. Most counties will provide you with the required forms you need to complete this filing.

No. While a business is required to publish their incorporation when first formed, a DBA is not required to be made public in a newspaper or regional publication.

Helpful New York Resources

See Our How To Startup Guides for New York

Are you looking for another entity type? We offer several other guides to help you start your business in the state of New York.

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