If you’re interested in creating a DBA name for your Louisiana business, then use our step-by-step guide. While we don’t currently offer DBA registration services in Louisiana, we can help you with starting a business. Get started below.
If you’re an entrepreneur in Louisiana, 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 Louisiana business.
A doing business as (DBA) name is the official filing to register a business name that you wish to use instead of your legal business entity name. A DBA name is also called an assumed name, fictitious business name or trade name. Louisiana has strict legal requirements surrounding the application, maintenance, and use of DBA names.
We don’t currently offer DBA registration in Louisiana, but you can use this guide to get an introduction on creating and maintaining a Louisiana DBA name for your business, as well as why you might want to do so.
When you register your Louisiana business, you must meet strict naming requirements. For example, when establishing your Louisiana limited liability company (LLC), state law requires you to include some version of the words “Limited Liability Company” (such as “L.C.” or “L.L.C.”) at the end of the business name.
A DBA allows you to conduct business without having to use the full legal name, simplifying your branding and marketing efforts (among other benefits). In Louisiana, a DBA name is referred to as a “trade name.” You might see other terms for DBA names elsewhere, such as “fictitious name,” “assumed business name,” or “assumed name.”
Regardless of the terminology used, a DBA name is essentially just an alias for a business. It is not a type of business entity (like an LLC or corporation), and it won’t change operational aspects like your tax and reporting requirements. A DBA name also is not copyrighted or trademarked.
There are two primary types of businesses that benefit from using DBA names:
Regardless of the entity type, if you plan to use a name other than your legal business name — for example, for your company business cards or website — you need to formally register that name. Whether you have to file at the state or parish level in Louisiana depends on the type of business entity (more on that below).
Additionally, there are distinct business benefits to formally registering a Louisiana trade name:
If you want to take advantage of these benefits, it’s well worth your while to establish a Louisiana trade name. This guide provides a step-by-step overview of what it takes to register your Louisiana DBA name.
If you decide to register a trade name in Louisiana, there is a series of steps you should adhere to. You can file online or by mail. Below, you can find guidelines for either option.
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA, 70804
If you have any questions, call the Secretary of State’s Commercial Division at 225-925-4704.
Note that if you come up with a brilliant trade name idea but are still in the process of formally establishing your business, you can preemptively reserve a trade name. The name will then be reserved for 120 days from the point that your application is processed.
Simply complete the form “Application for Reservation of Trade Name” and pay the $25 filing fee. You can complete the form online or submit it via mail to:
Secretary of State
P. O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA, 70804
When discussing the benefits of a DBA name above, one important point that probably jumped out at you was the marketing opportunities. Choosing the right business name now will make future marketing endeavors easier. Select something that reflects your services and products, isn’t too long, and is easy to remember.
Louisiana also has certain legal requirements for trade names:
Finally, the DBA name must be unique. Louisiana will only approve a trade name and issue a certificate of registration “if the Secretary of State finds that the trade name is distinguishable from or not the same as a trade name, limited liability company name, or corporate name already in use in this state.”
Luckily, there are resources available that you can use to make sure your selected DBA name is available before you file the paperwork. Simply search Louisiana’s business filings (by entity name) on the Secretary of State website.
With the above process done, all you have to do is wait on the Secretary of State to confirm your document submission and approve your trade name. Louisiana doesn’t require you to publish your trade name like some states. However, a Louisiana trade name isn’t something you register for once and never think about again — because the trade name isn’t valid forever.
Your Louisiana trade name expires automatically after 10 years. Before it expires, make sure to renew it. You simply complete the trade name registration form again and pay the filing fee of $75. You can pay an extra $30 for 24-hour processing or an extra $50 for two- to four-hour processing.
The application can be submitted online via your geauxBIZ account or by mail. If you’re submitting by mail, send it to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Ten years is a long time, so it’s easy to forget renewal. Make a note of the expiration date now. If you fail to renew the trade name, and it expires, someone else can legally use it for their own business. You should complete the renewal by the date of the initial registration every 10 years. Keep in mind that this paperwork must be notarized before submission, so make sure to leave time for the process.
You may want to change your trade name before the 10-year period is up. You can transfer a trade name by completing the “Assignment of Trade Name” application. This is similar to the original registration form and allows you to assign the trade name to a different entity. As with the original paperwork, you must get the form notarized.
We Can Help!
While we don’t currently support DBA registration in Louisiana, 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.
Are you still feeling uncertain about the process of business formation in Louisiana? Trust ZenBusiness to help. Our experts will make sure that you get your business off the ground. We can even handle the registration and compliance oversight for you. With these tasks taken off your hands, you can enjoy focusing your attention on your Louisiana 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.
Louisiana Business Resources
To establish your Louisiana DBA name (or “trade name,” as it’s called in the state), you must pay a fee to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office. You can check their website for the most current fee schedule.
Louisiana also offers expedited registration for an additional fee.
You can submit your Louisiana DBA name request online or via mail. Online processing will usually be faster since you eliminate the “snail mail” element. There is also the option to pay for expedited processing.
The state of Louisiana doesn’t obligate you to establish a trade name. If you don’t mind using your formal company name for your business operations, you don’t have to get one. However, using the full legal name (including entity indications like “Corporation” or “Limited Liability Company”) can be cumbersome.
A DBA name gives you a more succinct and catchy label to work with. It will make branding and marketing easier. It also protects your privacy if you’re a sole proprietorship or partnership because you can refer to the DBA name instead of your personal name when doing business. Having a Louisiana trade name also simplifies practical matters, like opening a business bank account.
While a DBA name doesn’t offer the same level of protection as a trademark or copyright, it does offer some exclusivity within the state of Louisiana. Once you’ve registered a trade name in the state, other businesses are not permitted to use that same trade name. This is because the state requires that every business DBA name be distinguishable from others on the state record.
Yes, it’s possible to have different DBA names. This is helpful if you have a multifaceted business. Say you own an eveningwear store, for example. Part of your business focuses on wedding dresses and bridal gear. The other part of the business focuses on general evening wear, like prom and homecoming dresses. You can develop a distinct brand around either element when you have two distinct DBA names.
There are different terms for a DBA name. In Louisiana, the legal term is a “trade name.” In other states, a DBA name may be referred to as an “assumed name,” “assumed business name,” or “fictitious name.” These terms generally all refer to the same concept — an alias for a formal business entity.
Sole proprietors are required to do business only under their legal name. You may find this infringes on your privacy or makes marketing difficult. By registering for a trade name, you open up the possibility to use your DBA name for all business purposes, from invoicing to opening bank accounts.
A DBA name is only an alias — an alternative to your formal business name. It is not an official business entity (like a corporation or LLC, for example). Registering a Louisiana trade name will, therefore, not alter your business tax requirements.
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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