Every state has its own rules for obtaining a DBA name. If you think using one can help you, it’s important that you get to know Nevada’s specific laws. Being aware of them will help keep you in compliance.
This guide to getting, using, and maintaining a DBA name in Nevada will walk you through the process. We’ll talk about what a DBA name is, why you might want one, and what to do to attain one for yourself.
What is a Nevada “doing business as” (DBA) name?
A DBA name is a name that a company uses to do business under a different moniker than its legal name.
Different states call DBA names different things. Some call them “trade names,” “fictitious names,” and “assumed names.” These refer to the same thing. The state of Nevada typically uses the term “fictitious firm name” (sometimes abbreviated “FFN”) on all related business forms.
The types of businesses that are most likely to use DBA names are:
- Partnerships and sole proprietorships can utilize a DBA name to appear more professional to customers. These companies can also use DBA names to protect the privacy of their owners. If they choose not to use DBA names, they must use the personal names of their owners to do business.
- Limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations can use DBA names in their marketing strategies. A corporation might use a DBA name to appeal to a certain audience. For example, a corporation might have several casinos with their own unique names but are still under the umbrella of the corporation.
While a DBA name gives your business the power to make sales under a new title, it doesn’t create a new company. Because of this, your tax structure will remain the same.
The regulations for DBA names in Nevada differ from many other states. Nevada requires you to register your DBA name at the county level and not with the Nevada Secretary of State, and DBA name registration is legally required when doing business under a different name than the one filed with your Articles of Organization. In Nevada, you must register a fictitious firm name with the county clerk of each county you plan to do business in.
Using a DBA name can have a positive effect on your company. Some pros to using one are:
- It frees you to advertise to and attract a new audience.
- It lets your company open a business bank account under a new name.
- It protects your privacy if you are the owner of a sole proprietorship or a member of a partnership.
The following information will teach you how to obtain and keep a fictitious firm name in Nevada.
How do I choose a Nevada DBA name?
A DBA name might be appealing to you for several reasons. When picking one out, think about who your customers are and consider how you hope to reach them. In Nevada, it’s a misdemeanor to do business under a new name without registering it with your county.
There are some rules that your DBA name should abide by. First, it can’t suggest that your business offers any services or products that are illegal. Make sure your DBA name doesn’t say anything about illegal drugs or illicit practices.
Your fictitious firm name also can’t suggest that your business provides any professional services that it does not. Don’t include things about professionals like doctors or lawyers unless you have those people on your staff.
Your DBA name should also be different from the name of any other business in your state. Start by conducting a name search on Nevada’s Business Portal. A unique DBA name will allow your business to stand out from competitors.
Keep in mind that registering a DBA name isn’t the same as a trademark. If your DBA name goes against a different business trademark or service mark, you can still face legal action. To avoid this, you should use the business portal to ensure your DBA name doesn’t violate any trademarks or service marks in the state. You can also check nationally on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.
How do I register a Nevada DBA name?
In Nevada, how you register a fictitious firm name depends on which county you’re going to operate in. Nevada law stipulates that you register your DBA name with the county clerk’s office in every county where you intend to do business. Be sure to do your research so that you know how to register in your county.
There are a few things that all Nevada counties require in a DBA name registration. These include:
- The business name (fictitious firm name)
- A physical address for your company
- Legal name(s) of the person(s) conducting the business
- Address(es) of the person(s) conducting the business
Below is an example of how you would file for a DBA name in Churchill County in Nevada.
1. Pull up the “Certificate of Fictitious Business Name” form on the Churchill County website.2. Fill out the application with the pertinent information. You will need a signature from a notary public.3. There will be a filing fee of $25 with two copies. If you need more copies, you’ll have to pay $1 for each additional page.4. Put everything in one envelope and mail it to the following address:Churchill County Clerk/Treasurer155 N. Taylor Street, Suite 110Fallon, NV 89406
1. Pull up the “Certificate of Fictitious Business Name” form on the Churchill County website.2. Fill out the application with the pertinent information. You will need a signature from a notary public.3. Visit the Churchill County Clerk/Treasurer’s office at the previously noted address.4. There will be a filing fee of $25 with two copies. If you need more copies, you’ll have to pay an additional $1 for each page.
How do I manage ongoing DBA name compliance in Nevada?
A fictitious firm name registration in Nevada lasts for five years. At the end of that period, you will have to issue a new certificate and pay the fees.
Some counties in Nevada do have specific forms for making changes to your DBA name or its address, but in most cases, you’ll fill out the same form you registered with.
If you wish to cancel your DBA name, you’ll need to fill out a “Termination of Certificate of Business: Fictitious Firm Name” form. Here is Churchill County’s (from our earlier example) termination form. You’ll pay the same $25 plus $1 per additional page you did when you registered. Send the termination form with the fee to:
Churchill County Clerk/Treasurer
155 N. Taylor Street, Suite 110
Fallon, NV 89406
More Nevada DBA FAQs
How much does it cost to register a Nevada DBA name?
The charge for registering a DBA name in Nevada will vary from county to county. For example, in Churchill County, the fee is $25 with up to two copies. For additional copies made by the County Clerk, there’s an extra charge of $1 per page.
What is the processing time to register a Nevada DBA?
The processing time for registering a DBA name in Nevada can run from about a week to 10 days, but it may be different depending on which county you register in. Also, many counties in Nevada don’t offer online registration. Mail-in registration can take longer than in-person registration because of transit.
Do I need a DBA name for my Nevada business?
DBA name registration is legally required when doing business under a different name than the one filed with your Articles of Organization.
If I register a DBA name in Nevada, can another business use the same name?
In Nevada, fictitious firm names are not exclusive, so someone else could use the same name that you’ve registered.
Can a business in Nevada have multiple DBA names?
Yes, businesses in Nevada can have several DBA names for different services or products. For example, in Las Vegas, several casinos can be owned by the same corporation. Usually, each casino will emphasize a different experience. One might be family-friendly, while another might be more adult-oriented.
Is a DBA name the same thing as a fictitious business name in Nevada?
In Nevada, a DBA name and fictitious firm name are the same things, as they are in most states. However, some states do have legal distinctions between the two. You should always research what the laws in your state have to say regarding DBA/fictitious firm names.
Do I need a DBA name in Nevada if I use my own name for a sole proprietorship?
You do not need a DBA name if you choose to do business under your personal name in a sole proprietorship. However, you’re not allowed to do business under any name besides your personal name if you don’t get one.
Will using a DBA name affect how my business is taxed in Nevada?
A DBA name, or fictitious firm name as it’s called in Nevada, does not start a new business or alter your tax structure in any way. A DBA name is simply a new name that your existing company can operate under.