If you own an Idaho business and would like to operate a different name than your legal business name, state law requires you to properly register it. A DBA name, also called an assumed name, fictitious business name, or trade name is typically used when you want to use multiple names for one business, or if you are a sole proprietor wanting to be recognized as something other than your legal name.
This guide will cover what an Idaho DBA name is, why it could be important for your small business, how to get and renew one, and how we can help make the process easy.
In Idaho, a DBA name is a name that a business may operate under but differs from a business’s full legally registered name. There are many reasons a business might want a DBA name, including being able to shorten their name or leave off designators, such as “LLC,” or to distinguish different parts of their business by operating them under different associated names.
The descriptor “DBA” goes by different names in different states. Some states might call it a “fictitious name” or a “trade name,” for example. In Idaho, it tends to be referred to as an “assumed business name.”
There are two major categories of businesses that might seek a DBA name:
It’s important to note that a DBA name does not change the tax status of your business, does not establish copyright or trademark, and is not a way of registering a business with the state. They are simply an alternative name for your business.
In Idaho, you are legally required to register any assumed name with the Secretary of State before use to remain compliant. But the benefits of a DBA name extend beyond simple compliance and include:
The process for registering a DBA name, or assumed business name, in Idaho is handled through the Secretary of State’s office. A form may be completed online or via paper and mailed in with the associated filing fee.
The information you will need to fill out during the filing process include the chosen assumed business name, the names and addresses of all individuals or businesses doing business under this name, the type of business being transacted, and the contact information of the individual filing the form.
Office of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0080
Naming any business can be challenging. There are a multitude of factors to consider, ranging from aesthetics and marketing to legal considerations and compliance. To break it down for you, here are some of the most important factors to consider as you choose your Idaho assumed business name:
Note that just because you register an assumed business name with the state, this does not mean it is protected or that another business cannot also use it. If you would like additional protection of your business name, you should look into trademark and copyright laws.
You may also want to search business names in nearby states if you are concerned about keeping your business name unique.
It’s important to stay on top of state laws and filings and make sure your business is always compliant. In Idaho, if you transact business using an unregistered DBA name, you will be unable to engage in any legal actions associated with your business until this is corrected. Additionally, you may be liable for claims against your business associated with having false, misleading, or incomplete information registered with the state.
The nice thing about the state of Idaho is that once you file your DBA name, you are not required to renew it. It remains in effect until you indicate otherwise.
If you need to correct or update any information in your filing, you can do so online or by mail using the Cancellation or Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Business Name form. This form can be used if you want to amend the assumed name, update the names and addresses of businesses or individuals doing business under the name, update your business type, or cancel your assumed name.
The online form only requires a small fee for changes other than the change of mailing address and charges no fee for cancellation. All forms submitted by mail incur an additional non-electronic form fee.
While these steps may appear simple in theory, they can be time-consuming in practice. We help prospective DBA name applicants with the registration process of your new DBA.
Disclaimer: 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.
Idaho Business Resources
Fees are subject to change over time. Check the Secretary of State’s website for the most current fee schedule regarding DBA registration and renewal. You can also opt to pay more for faster filing services.
Processing times can vary depending on how you submit your paperwork. If completed online, you can expect a much faster turnaround than if completed by mail, though paying extra for expedited service can help.
DBA names are not required unless you are operating under a name different from your legal business name. With the exception of partnerships or sole proprietorships, when you register your business with the state, you will indicate a chosen name at that time. However, business names are often required to include type-designators, such as “LLC” for limited liability companies or “Corp.” for corporations. These designators are a legal part of your official business name. If you want to do business under a shorter version of your official name with the designator dropped or a different name all together, you are required to file a DBA name for the modified version of the name.
If you’re a sole proprietorship or partnership and want to do business under a name other than your personal name, you’ll need to file a DBA name.
Yes. Registering a DBA name does not secure it or make it your own. Any business may also register and use the same DBA name. If you would like protection of the name you wish to use, you will need to look into trademark protection.
Yes, businesses can typically utilize multiple DBA names to differentiate distinct areas of their operations. For example, suppose the owner of a sandwich shop decides to branch out to catering. If they want to brand their catering under a different name than the sandwich shop, a different DBA name will be needed for each part of the business.
In Idaho, a DBA name is the same thing as a fictitious name; however, the official wording used in Idaho law to describe DBA names is “assumed business name.”
If you have a sole proprietorship, you are free to conduct business under your own legal name. However, if you want to utilize a name other than the one on your Social Security card, you will need to register it as a DBA name to remain in compliance.
A DBA name does not establish a business type or entity. It is simply a name that a business plans to use. As such, it has no effect on how your business is taxed at the state, local, or federal level. That is, instead, determined by your registered business type and associated laws.
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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