When it comes to using a DBA name, laws vary from state to state. If you’d like to use a DBA name in Nebraska, it’s a good idea to get to know the state’s particular laws for using one. Using one while being ignorant of your state’s DBA name laws can land you in legal hot water.
After reading this guide on obtaining and managing a DBA name in Nebraska, you’ll have a better idea of how to use one effectively and properly. We’ll go over what a DBA name is, how it can help your business, and how you can get one.
What is a Nebraska “doing business as” (DBA) name?
A DBA name allows a company to do business under a moniker different from its registered name. Depending on the state, DBA names can also be called assumed names or fictitious names. These mean the same thing. The accepted term in Nebraska is “trade name.”
Businesses that use DBA names most often are:
- Sole proprietorships and partnerships use DBA names to give their companies a professional appearance and keep the personal names of their owners private. In these businesses, owners are not legally separate from their company. Without the use of a DBA name, these companies have to do business under their owners’ personal names.
- Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) use DBA names to tailor products to new audiences. For example, a corporation might have the name “Quality Flooring, Inc.” and want to open a store specializing in rugs. They could call the new store something like “Rug Land,” but it would still be under the umbrella of the original corporation.
An important thing to remember about trade names is that they don’t start a new company. They’re merely new titles for existing companies. If you use a trade name, your company’s tax structure will remain the same.
If you have a Nebraska for-profit corporation, nonprofit corporation, or LLC and are doing business under a different name than registered, you must apply for a trade name. Although sole proprietorships, partnerships, and other entities are not required to have a trade name, the state of Nebraska encourages these businesses to get one to prevent others from claiming that name.
A few other ways a trade name can help your business include:
- It lets your company open a new line of credit under a different name.
- It can keep the personal names of a business’s owners private.
- It can stop other companies from using and profiting off the name.
- It allows a business to market to new audiences.
How do I choose a Nebraska DBA name?
You might want to look into getting a trade name for your business for a bevy of reasons. When you choose one, you should make sure it appeals to the customers you’re trying to reach. You should also be sure you can integrate the name into your marketing strategy without too much effort.
Before choosing your DBA name, you want to be familiar with the rules for naming one in Nebraska. Your DBA name can’t suggest any illegal products or services. You can’t add anything to the name that makes it sound like you’re synonymous with crime.
Your DBA name also can’t suggest that your business offers any expert services that it can’t meet. This means that if your business doesn’t offer anything like legal or medical services, you can’t have anything about them in your title.
Your name should be different from the names of other businesses in your state. Even though registering a trade name doesn’t mean you have exclusive rights to it, it’s still important that your name be unique. An original DBA name stands out from your competitors. As a precaution, you’ll want to use the corporate and business search function on the Nebraska Secretary of State website to ensure no one else is using your potential DBA name.
It’s important to remember that registering a DBA name is not the same as trademarking one. You should watch out for any trademarks or service marks your name could be violating. If you don’t, you could find yourself the subject of legal action.
You can find Nebraska law involving trademarks on the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website. You can also search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database to ensure your DBA name doesn’t violate any existing federal trademarks.
How do I register a Nebraska DBA name?
Registering a trade name in Nebraska is similar to the registration process in many other states. You’ll have to register your trade name with the Nebraska Secretary of State. There are also a form and fee to consider. You can register your DBA name by mail or online. Below are instructions on how to do both.
To keep business dealings transparent, Nebraska makes companies disclose DBA names in newspapers dispersed in the city or county where they will operate. You’ll have 45 days after you register a trade name to send the Nebraska Secretary of State proof that the name has been featured in the newspaper. If you miss the deadline, your DBA name registration will be promptly revoked.
1. Print the application to register for a trade name on the Secretary of State website.2. Fill out the requested information completely and sign wherever is necessary.3. Be aware that there is a $100 filing fee you’ll need to pay.4. Put everything in one envelope and mail it to the following address:Secretary of State’s OfficeBusiness Services Division (Corporations)P.O. Box 94608Lincoln, NE 68509
1. Go to the Secretary of State website and navigate to the trade name form.2. Fill out all the information requested in the document. You’ll need your business filing number (EIN). You should already have one, but if you’re getting a trade name at the same time you’re registering your business, you can get an EIN here.3. There will still be a filing fee of $100 for filing online.
How do I manage ongoing DBA name compliance in Nebraska?
To maintain a DBA name in Nebraska, you have to renew it online or by mail. You’ll have to do so every 10 years. The Secretary of State will send you a reminder, and there will be a $100 fee for renewing.
If you want to make changes to your DBA name, you’ll have to fill out an amendment form and mail it in. There will be a $10 fee to make changes.
More Nebraska DBA FAQs
How much does it cost to register a Nebraska DBA name?
It will cost $100 to register a trade name in Nebraska, whether you do it online or by mail. While the fee is steep compared to some other states, the name lasts for 10 years before you have to renew it. You will need to pay $100 every time you renew your DBA name
What is the processing time to register a Nebraska DBA?
Nebraska requires you to send proof to the Secretary of State that you’ve publicly disclosed your trade name within 45 days of registering, so it can take a while for your name to be set in stone. You can get the ball rolling faster by filing online.
Do I need a DBA name for my Nebraska business?
You don’t legally need a DBA in Nebraska, but there are many advantages to having one. For sole proprietorships and partnerships, trade names add an air of professionalism. For corporations and LLCs, trade names allow accessibility to new customers.
If I register a DBA name in Nebraska, can another business use the same name?
DBA names are not exclusive, so, in theory, another company could use the same name you have. The best way to make sure no one else uses your trade name is to get it trademarked. Once you’ve done business under your trade name, you will have a greater legal right to it.
Can a business in Nebraska have multiple DBA names?
Yes, it can. Some businesses have multiple trade names. An example would be a clothing company that has several stores under its corporate umbrella. They might have a store that sells kids clothes, one that sells adult clothes, and one that sells teen clothes. Each store could use a different trade name.
Is a DBA name the same thing as a fictitious business name in Nebraska?
A DBA name is the same thing as a fictitious business name. However, Nebraska refers to DBA names as “trade names.” Some states do have legal distinctions between the two titles, though.
Do I need a DBA name in Nebraska if I use my own name for a sole proprietorship?
If you have a sole proprietorship, you must do business under your own name unless you have a trade name. While Nebraska does not require sole proprietorships, partnerships, and other entities to have a trade name, it does encourage these businesses to register for one to prevent others from claiming that name.
Will using a DBA name affect how my business is taxed in Nebraska?
Using a DBA name doesn’t start a new business. It is simply a new title that an existing business can go by. For this reason, it does not affect the tax structure of the initial business. If you choose to use a DBA name, your tax structure will stay the same.