If you’re interested in creating a DBA name for your Delaware business, then use our step-by-step guide. While we don’t currently offer DBA registration services in Delaware, we can help you with starting a business. Get started below.
If you’re an entrepreneur in Delaware, you may not wish to use your business’s full legal name for all of your company’s activities. If so, a “doing business as” (DBA) name could be a helpful branding tool, allowing you to conduct your small business under a different title. Follow the steps below if you’re interested in creating a DBA name for your Delaware business.
When a business operates using a name that is different from the legal name on its formation document, it is said to be “doing business as” (DBA) another name. Each state has its own requirements to properly register a DBA name, and Delaware is no exception. However, Delaware’s requirements are unique, and you want to make sure you get it right.
We don’t currently support Delaware DBA registration, but we’ve put together this guide as a resource to help you understand the steps and guidelines set out by the state. Read on to learn how to obtain and maintain a suitable DBA name for your business in Delaware.
A Delaware DBA name is also called a “trade name” or “fictitious name.” It does not affect how your business is taxed, nor does it create a separate entity for a business. A DBA name is not a requirement for every business. You only need a fictitious name if you want to operate under a different name than your legal business name.
Naturally, to avoid businesses inventing fictitious names to engage in fraud and misrepresent themselves, the state requires business owners to register their DBA names.
There are two categories of businesses who take advantage of the benefits of a DBA name:
Below are additional benefits that business owners can gain from registering a DBA name:
Read on to find out how to obtain and maintain a DBA name in Delaware. This guide will provide a detailed overview of all of the relevant information you need to know.
The state of Delaware requires businesses to register their DBA names in every county where they operate. But the process is handled by the state, so the steps and forms are the same for all three counties. Below is the step-by-step procedure for registering a Delaware DBA name.
Check if your desired DBA name is available. Use the trade names search database and follow these instructions.
Select each county where you do business.
Fill out the registration form.
Have the registration form notarized. A notary is also available in each of the prothonotary’s offices.
The notarized certificate and payment of $25 (per name in each county you wish to register in Delaware) can be delivered in-person or mailed to:
New Castle County
Leonard L. Williams Justice Center
500 North King Street, Suite 500, LL1
Wilmington, DE 19801-3746
Kent County Courthouse
38 The Green
Dover, DE 19901
Sussex County Courthouse
1 The Circle, Suite 2
A DBA name is mostly used by businesses to create brand recognition. A DBA name not only allows you to select a unique name that communicates and represents the nature of your business. It also allows you to select a trade name that shows your brand’s personality, which could be funny or quirky.
However, even though you’d want to choose a Delaware DBA name that’s distinct and memorable, it needs to meet the state’s name requirements.
Here’s what you need to remember when choosing a DBA name for your business:
In Delaware, as with most states, multiple businesses can operate using the same DBA name. But to stand out and create a recognizable brand, you are encouraged to come up with a trade name that’s catchy, unique, and isn’t already in use by other local businesses.
To ensure that your preferred DBA name isn’t already being used, you can perform a name search using Delaware’s trade names database. This guide provides detailed instructions on how to perform a comprehensive search.
It’s also a good idea to check the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to see whether your desired DBA name is trademarked at the federal level. At the state level, you can contact the Delaware Division of Corporations at (302) 739-3073 to see if there are any state trademarks on your name. You can also register your own Delaware trademark by filing the State of Delaware Application for Registration of Trademark or Service Mark with a payment of $35.
Unlike some states, Delaware does not ask business owners to publish their DBA names in an approved newspaper to complete the registration process. You’re also not obligated to renew your DBA name certificate.
But if you sell or change your DBA name, the state of Delaware requires you to fill out and submit a Supplemental Certificate with the prothonotary in each county you are registered. It’s also mandatory that you submit this form if your company made any changes with regards to its officers or status. An amendment certificate has a fee of $25, which you can send as a check or money order addressed to the State of Delaware.
If you don’t want to use your DBA name anymore and want to cancel your registration, you need to file a Termination Affidavit Form. Fill out the form and submit it to each prothonotary’s office where you are registered; you don’t need to pay a fee for discontinuing your registration.
We Can Help!
While we don’t currently support DBA registration in Delaware, we can help you create one in states we do support, including: Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas and Utah. We can make creating a DBA name in another state simple.
Do you need additional guidance launching your own business in Delaware? Speed up the process of starting your business with the assistance of our experts. Take the red tape stress out of running and growing your Delaware small business.
The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
Delaware Business Resources
The cost of registering your DBA depends on where your business is as well as where it operates. You can find a full breakdown on these fees on the state’s website, as well as county websites.
In Delaware, DBA applications are done through the three county courthouses. There are no guidelines available for a timeline on the application process. There are only two ways to submit an application: in person or by mail. If you submit in person, you will most probably be informed by the receiving clerk of the approximate time that you’ll receive a decision on your application.
However, if you submit by mail, you’ll have to factor in the mailing process. Make sure you do your due diligence and search through the trade name database and submit an application with a unique name. This will help make your application time faster because it will eliminate the need for changes and back-and-forth communication.
A DBA name is not mandatory unless you’re operating under a name other than your legal business name. However, business owners of less formal business structures, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships, usually find having a DBA name practical. It creates legitimacy for their businesses, and it allows them to apply for bank accounts under their DBA names instead of their legal names.
Even LLCs and corporations can take advantage of using trade names. A DBA name authorizes them to drop the “LLC” and “Corporation” designators, making it easier for them to advertise with the shorter version of their business name. They can also use a DBA to operate under an entirely different name.
It’s also worth noting that in the state of Delaware, you are required to register a DBA name if you plan to use another name aside from your legal business name. Otherwise, it can be seen as fraudulent activity, and you will be penalized if you represent your business under any other name.
Generally, DBA names are not exclusive, which means there is a possibility that multiple businesses are using the same name.
If you want to protect your DBA name and your brand, consider getting it trademarked at either the state or federal level. A trademark is the most effective way to make sure you’re the only business with that name.
Yes, the state of Delaware and its counties do not limit the number of DBA names a business can have. A separate DBA name is usually used by business owners to differentiate between the products, services, and areas of their operations.
Yes. In Delaware, a DBA name is also called a fictitious name or a trade name. They are the same things.
As the owner of a sole proprietorship, you are the business. So, your official business name is your legal name. You will need a DBA name if you plan to operate under any other name. In the state of Delaware, you can be penalized, and it can be considered fraud if you do business under any other name without a DBA name.
A DBA name does not create a new business entity. It only allows you to operate under another name that’s not your legal business name. It will not affect how your business is taxed at the local, state, or federal level in any way.
Most Popular States to Get a DBA Name
When it comes to compliance, costs, and other factors, these are popular states for filing a DBA.
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