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Get a DBA Name for Your New York Business Today

“Doing business as” (DBA) names are an excellent alternative to using legal personal names or business names. They afford levels of flexibility for business owners that are not otherwise possible. New York business owners can file for DBA names, or “assumed names” as they are known in the state, to enhance brand personality or augment business operations in other areas.

New York DBA

New York requires all general partnerships to file for a DBA name, even if they plan to carry on business using their legal names. Further, any individual or legal business owner who trades under a name other than their legally recognized name must file for an assumed name. 

Our guide provides insight into New York DBA names, including how to choose a name, registering it, and keeping in compliance.

What is a New York “doing business as” (DBA) name?

DBA names are referred to as many things, such as “fictitious name,” “trade name,” or “assumed name.” New York officially uses the term “assumed name.”

Even though a DBA name is not an officially recognized legal entity, if you trade under a name other than your legal one, you must register it. The exception is general partnerships, which must file for an assumed name even if they plan to operate under their legal names. Also, a DBA name does not impact taxation. It is simply an alias under which your business can trade. 

Often, two distinct business groups seek DBA names. These are: 

  • Sole proprietorships and partnerships: These businesses may want to use a DBA name to protect their privacy. With a DBA name, the business would be referred to as the alias instead of the owner’s personal name. However, keep in mind that general partnerships are required to file for an assumed name even if they plan to operate under their legal names. 
  • Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs): These business entities may want to use a DBA name to launch a new product, drop an entity designator, or use a name that more accurately represents their business.

Some of the advantages of trading under an assumed name in New York include but are not limited to: 

  • Launch new product lines to expand the brand
  • The convenience of not using clumsy designators, such as “LLC,” “Inc.,” “Corp.,” or the full versions of these formal descriptions
  • The ability to open a business bank account under that specific name
  • The credibility of the DBA name, which is useful when looking for investors
  • The credibility of the “Certificate of Assumed Name” when dealing with vendors
  • Ease of name use and recognizability for customers, service providers, and other business associations
  • Avoid legal issues when not formally registering a DBA name
  • Discourage others from using your business name

How do I choose a New York DBA name?

Select a name that reflects what your small business is or its brand personality. Also, look at choosing a DBA name that is easy to spell, memorable, and gives consumers a good sense of your overall branding.

Try to find a name that is unique to your county, if not the entire state of New York. In this way, you will have an advantage, as you will stand out among your competitors. However, it’s important to note that the state does not require the uniqueness of DBA names.

To ensure that your DBA name is available, you can conduct a name search using the Department of State Division of Corporations, State Records, and UCC Database. It is also a good idea to check for any state or federal trademarks. Trademark law will supersede DBA name law, so it is important that you don’t infringe on someone else’s trademark. You can conduct a federal search using the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database. 

Be aware that several legal business designations are not allowed, such as “Corporation,” “Limited,” and “Limited Liability Company.” Entity designators and their abbreviations can be misleading to those you do business with, and the state does not allow these name additions. Further restrictions on name choices are also available to guide your DBA name choice. 

Decoration

When choosing a name, remember that you will probably want a domain name that is the same or as near to the same as the DBA name as possible. ZenBusiness helps customers by offering Domain Name Registration services, ensuring that your domain name is unique and establishes your online presence. 

How do I register a New York DBA name?

A legally registered company that wants to trade under a different name must file a certificate with the New York State Department of State that complies with Section 130 of the General Business Law. Legally recognized businesses include corporations, limited partnerships, and LLCs. 

New York offers clear instructions on how to apply for and register a DBA name. Continue reading for step-by-step instructions on filing a “Certificate of Assumed Name,” depending on your business structure.

For all legally registered businesses that wish to obtain a DBA, complete the following steps: 

  1. Visit the Certificate of Assumed Name webpage on the Corporations, State Records, and UCC website. 
  2. Write in the legal name of the company in terms of Section 130 of the General Business Law, as the name appears on officially registered documents.
  3. State how the company was registered in New York. Check off the appropriate option as it appears under No. 2 on the form.
  4. Write in the chosen assumed name under No. 3.
  5. Line 4 requires you to include your principal business address in New York, which must include a street name and number. If you do not have a physical address in New York, include the out-of-state address with the street name and number and check the box to show that this address is out of state.
  6. Check all the counties in which you currently conduct business or intend to do business.
  7. Next, include the address of each location in which you will be transacting. Here, you must provide the street name and number, the city, state, and ZIP code. A second page is attached to the form for this purpose. If necessary, use two pages or select the box that states you do not intend to do business in any other county in New York.
  8. Print or type in your name and sign the certificate.
  9. State your capacity as the person who signs the document.
  10. At the end of the form on the second page, complete the area that indicates where your name is required, the company’s legally registered name, and your mailing address.
  11. Once the form has been completed, it must be delivered or mailed to: 

New York State Department of State
Division of Corporations
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231

  1. Submit a filing fee of $25 for the registration of this certificate. Corporations must pay additional fees for each county in which they do business. The fee is $100 for each county within New York City, which include the Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond. Counties outside of New York City cost $25 each. A total fee of $1,950 is currently charged for corporations to register for this certificate. Checks of $500 and more must be certified. There is no county fee for LLCs or limited partnerships.
  2. A further $10 is payable for certified copies, which must be displayed at the official business location.
  3. Expedited processing requests cost an additional $150 for a two-hour service, $75 for same-day service, and $25 for 24-hour service. Payment for expedited processing must be separate from other costs, which can be paid via credit card by completing this form and sending it to the above address with your completed certificate. 
  4. If preferred, you can fax your application to 518-474-1418. You may also send a fax to 518-473-1654 to request copies of documents or find out if a DBA name is available. Only send one fax when requesting any of these details.

General partnerships, sole proprietorships, limited liability partnerships, and other entities should file their Certificate of Assumed Name with the county clerk’s office in each county where they operate.

  1. Contact your specific county to request a form to file a DBA name or obtain an X-201 form for a sole proprietorship or an X-74 form for a partnership at a commercial or legal stationery store. 
  2. Request instructions for the completion of the form or complete the form as indicated.
  3. You can contact your specific county office for further details regarding filing fees, as these may vary. For example, the fees for filing a DBA name in Orange County are $25 and $5 for a copy. 

How do I manage ongoing DBA name compliance in New York?

The date on the receipt issued by the New York State Department of State is proof that the certificate has been registered. Once your DBA name has been registered, the date on the receipt is the same date you can begin trading. Check your receipt to ensure all details are correct. 

You do not need to renew your DBA name to remain compliant with state laws, but you may want to make other changes at some point. Specifically, a “Certificate of Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Name” may need to be completed and filed for $25. County fees will also apply to corporations.

Or you may want to file a “Certificate of Discontinuance of Assumed Name” for $25 with the Secretary of State should your business circumstances alter. Altered circumstances can include the sale or transfer of the company. Many reasons exist for amendments or the discontinued use of a DBA name. When changes take place, the DBA name must be officially maintained.

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More New York DBA FAQs

How much does it cost to register a New York DBA name?

Fees to register a DBA name with the New York State Department of State are quite costly for corporations. Total fees rise to $1,950 when the corporation does business in multiple counties. However, there is no county fee for LLCs or limited partnerships. Requests for certified copies are $10 each, and additional county trading fees are $100 each. Additional charges are levied if you want the registration to be done quickly. Costs for expedited registration range from $25 for 24-hour service, $75 for same-day registration, and $150 for two-hour processing.

This also doesn’t include fees for county registration if you are a general partnership, sole proprietorship, or limited liability partnership.

What is the processing time to register a New York DBA?

The New York State Department of State will send your DBA name receipt and certified copy via first-class mail. These documents are posted separately if a certified copy of the DBA name form is requested. You can request overnight delivery of documents but must provide a prepaid shipping label to the Department for this purpose.

Do not mark the Department as the sender on the shipping label, as it will be discarded. Use your name and address as both the shipper and the sender. You can expect certified copies to be delivered in seven working days (weekends are not regarded as working days). Other than a reference to the time it takes to send certified copies and receipts to recipients, the Department does not indicate how long DBA name approval takes.

You can request expedited approval of your DBA name, which will cost extra. If you want your DBA name to be registered quickly, you can choose from 24-hour service for $25, same-day service for $75, and two-hour approval for $150.

Processing may differ for county-level registration.

Do I need a DBA name for my New York business?

DBA names are not a requirement in New York, but they offer many benefits, whether you are a sole proprietorship, general partnership, or have a registered corporation. However, if you do not intend to do business under your legal name, you will need to register an assumed name with the state.

If I register a DBA name in New York, can another business use the same name?

DBA names in New York are not exclusive to their owners. Anyone can use the same name as someone else when registering a Certificate of Assumed Name. Neither can the DBA name be used to override a trademark. If you want a unique name that no one else can use, choose to register a trademark with the USPTO. You can search for available names here. Taking this route will ensure that your brand name is protected moving forward.

Can a business in New York have multiple DBA names?

Business owners can choose to have as many DBA names as they want. Typically, business owners will select DBA names to differentiate business operations for recognizability and other benefits. For example, a business owner specializing in web development may want a separate business persona for web design. In this case, they will distinguish these two operations by using separate DBA names. The one specialty may be called “Supreme Web Development,” while the design section may be named “Superior Web Design,” for example.

Is a DBA name the same thing as a fictitious business name in New York?

People use different names to describe “doing business as.” These names include “fictitious name,” “trade name,” and “assumed name.” The official term used by the New York State Department of State is “assumed name.”

Do I need a DBA name in New York if I use my own name for a sole proprietorship?

If you are a sole proprietor, you must register a Certificate of Assumed Name unless you want to continue trading under your legal name. New York does not allow you to conduct business under a name other than your own unless you register this certificate.

Will using a DBA name affect how my business is taxed in New York?

A DBA name does not give you specific legal rights. A DBA name is simply another persona under which to operate your business. Having a DBA name also doesn’t change how you are taxed at the local, state, or federal level. You can read more about the different business structures, DBA name requirements, liability, life span, and taxation here.

ZenBusiness experts are on standby to assist you with business formation in New York. Business formation support, together with compliance, means your business dreams are always in good hands.

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Most Popular States to Get a DBA Name

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Get a DBA Name in Wyoming

Montana

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Alaska

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New Hampshire

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Florida

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