A DBA is an abbreviation for “doing business as.” It is an assumed name, a fictitious name or a trade name under which a business operates. It has advantages for business if chosen carefully. Filing a DBA in New York is simple. Depending on the legal form of a business entity, the assumed name NY can be filed at a county office or the New York Department of State. People who need help with the registration of a DBA can enlist the help of a registered agency.
How to file a NYS DBA for sole proprietors and general partnerships
Sole proprietors, partnerships, estates and real estate investment companies have to file their NYS DBA at the County Clerk’s office, in the county where the business is located. Here are the steps to follow.
1. Name search
When filing a DBA in New York, be aware that the state law does not allow two businesses to use the same DBA or a name that is too similar to another DBA. Therefore the first step is to search the New York Department of State website to make sure the chosen name is not being used already or is not too similar to another NYS DBA. It helps to have several names ready in case the first few are taken. After a few tries one should find a name that is available.
NYS DBA name rules
The name should not include words (e.g. Treasury, State Department, FBI) that sound like a government agency.
To include “bank,” “attorney,” “doctor” or other restricted words, additional paperwork is needed and a licensed individual such as a doctor or a lawyer have to be part of the business.
2. Trademark search
The next step is to search the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System to determine if someone else has trademarked the chosen name.
3. Register the DBA with the County Clerk
The next step is to file a business certificate with the county clerk’s office in the county where the business is going to operate.
Sole proprietorships have to file the Business Certificate form for Proprietorships and partnerships have to file the Business Certificate form for Partnerships. The forms can be purchased online or from a legal stationery store. The Business Certificate has to be submitted in person at the County Clerk’s office.
$100 plus $10 for certified copies. The office accepts cash, Visa, Mastercard or American Express but no checks.
How to file a DBA for an incorporated business
In New York, incorporated businesses include for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, professional corporations, professional associations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships (LLP), limited liability companies (LLC), and any foreign filing entities. To get an assumed name NY, they all must file their NY DBA with the New York Department of State. Here are the steps to follow.
1. Name search
An assumed name NY cannot be similar to one being used by another business or too similar to an existing one. Therefore, it is better to come up with a few possible names for a DBA that comply with the state’s DBA naming rules. Then search the New York Department of State website to determine if the name is available. It may take a few searches in order of preference to come up with a name that is available.
2. A search of the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will determine if the chosen name has been trademarked by another person.
3. Register the NYS DBA
Print a blank certificate of assumed name form and fill in all the required information.
4. Submit the form
Submit the form at the New York State Department of State, Division of Corporations, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231. The form can be sent by post, submitted in person or faxed to (518) 474-1418. If a certified copy is needed then a written request has to be included.
The fees include $25 for the Certificate of Assumed Name NY, $10 for a certified copy of the certificate and $150 for 2-hour processing (or $75 for same day, or $25 for 24 hours).
Additional Fees for corporations only
A corporation will pay an extra $100 for each NYC county where the business is or will operate in New York City and $25 for each county in which the business will operate outside New York City. If the business will operate throughout the state, a fee of $1,950 will cover the Certificate of Assumed Name and all counties.
Payment can be made through check, cash, money order, Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Checks and money orders must be made payable to “Department of State.” A credit/debit card authorization form must also be included if posting or faxing and paying by credit/debit card.