This guide will help you understand, obtain, and maintain a DBA name in Utah.
What is a Utah “doing business as” (DBA) name?
A DBA name is known in some areas as an “assumed name,” “trade name,” or “fictitious name.” In Utah, a DBA name is referred to as an “assumed name” and is required for any individual conducting business in the state using an alternative name from their official business entity name.
Since a DBA name is just an alternative business name, it will not impact your tax structure. It is not a separate business entity and only acts as an alias.
Many business structures benefit from a DBA name, even if their reasons are not always the same. In most cases, there are two categories of businesses that register DBA names:
- In the case of sole proprietorships and partnerships, because of their business structure, these businesses are referred to by their owner’s legal name. For this reason, many business owners choose an alternate name to better communicate the purpose of their business.
- For corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs), business owners may choose a DBA name to remove designators from their name. For example, if a corporation does not want to have “Inc.” or “Corp.” attached to their business name, they can register a DBA name. In other cases, some businesses might register a DBA name to launch a new line of products. In this case, they can sign up for multiple DBA names to create distinct product lines.
A DBA name has many benefits. Since they are public record, registering a DBA name can add credibility to your business by openly displaying a name representative of your business. This is particularly advantageous for business structures that operate under the names of their owners (sole proprietorships and partnerships).
For businesses wishing to open a business bank account, they might want to consider registering a DBA name. Registering a DBA name and getting a federal tax ID number (EIN) allows your business to open a business bank account. In most cases, a bank will ask for proof of the DBA name to ensure that you operate a legitimate business.
This guide will provide an overview of how to obtain and maintain a DBA name in Utah.
How do I choose a Utah DBA name?
When choosing a DBA name, it’s important to keep several things in mind. First, you should consider how the name works in terms of marketing your brand. Does the proposed DBA name explain to customers what your business does? Your DBA name should communicate the purpose of your business to the public.
Additionally, your DBA name should correspond with other promotional business things. For example, a domain name that matches your DBA name is a great way to attract online traffic to your website. By using ZenBusiness’s Domain Name Registration services, you can establish a business website with a matching business email, web hosting, and memorable domain name.
Registering a domain name that matches your DBA name is very beneficial because it:
- Protects your business image: By registering a domain name that matches your DBA name, you protect your business’s online image. This way, you ensure that no one else can use your business name.
- Establishes your brand online: By registering a domain name, you provide customers with an opportunity to find your brand online. This makes it easier for satisfied customers to share your business’s information and hopefully gain more business.
- Markets your business: By establishing an online brand, you are taking the first step toward online advertising. You can advertise your business through your website, whether you sell products or services.
Next, you should consider the uniqueness of the name. Legally speaking, the DBA name needs to be distinguishable from trademarks and registered names in Utah. The uniqueness of your DBA name is also a marketing tactic to distinguish your brand from competitors. By choosing a distinctive DBA name, you establish a memorable name and make it easy for customers to find you. Using Utah’s Business Name search tool, you can conduct a name search to see if your desired DBA name is available.
While choosing a memorable DBA name, it’s also important to keep in mind some regulations. Utah has specific words that cannot be used without written consent from a specific entity or at all. Below are DBA name regulations in Utah:
- DBA names cannot include “Incorporated,” “Inc.,” or any other variation of “Incorporated.”
- Without the written consent of the U.S. Olympic Committee, you cannot use “Olympic,” “Olympiad,” or “Citius Altius Fortius” for a DBA name.
- Unless you have written consent from the Division of Consumer Protection, you cannot use the words “University,” “College,” “Institute,” or “Institution” in your DBA name.
Additionally, it’s important to note that Utah requires businesses with DBA names in languages other than English to provide translated versions of the names to the record. For businesses that do not provide translations or use prohibited words, the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code will not approve the DBA name application.
How do I register a Utah DBA name?
In Utah, you will need to complete several steps to register a DBA name. In this section, we will walk you through the process of registering your assumed name. While completing your form, keep in mind that it must be typed and not handwritten. Follow these instructions:
- Go to the Division of Corporations & Commercial Code DBA application.
- Check “Non-Refundable Processing Fee.”
- Fill in the desired DBA name.
- Enter the general purpose of your business. You can locate specific business codes here.
- Next, you should fill in the address of the principal place of business, which is the business address.
- Type in the name and address of your registered agent.
- In this next section, you will need to complete the owner’s information. The owner must have a business registered in Utah and a Utah Entity Number.
- Fill in your Entity Number.
- Then, you will need to type in the address of the owner of the business entity. You will need to include the street number, city, state, and ZIP code.
- Next, you will need to authorize the paperwork. On the signature line, the authorized party must sign the form. The authorized party is the owner or partner of a business, and up to two applicants with the same business can complete a single form. If you have more than two owners/partners, you must fill out a second DBA name form.
- Submit the document by filing online or by mail/fax, and pay the required filing fee of $22. You can make cash, check, money order, and credit card payments to the “State of Utah.” They accept American Express, Mastercard, and Visa. If you are faxing the paperwork and paying by card, you will need to include the number of your credit card with the date of registration.
The standard mailing address to register your DBA name is:
Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
P.O. Box 146705
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6705
How do I manage ongoing DBA name compliance in Utah?
When the DBA name has been marked as “filed,” it means that the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code has received and approved the document. The DBA name registration should be completed no later than 30 days after conducting business under this name. Additionally, it must be submitted in a “machine printed format.”
You will need to renew your DBA name after three years of registration to maintain compliance. To maintain your DBA name, you will need to renew it every three years for $27. If you need to make any changes to your DBA name, or there were structural changes to your business, you should update your DBA name to maintain compliance.
Utah DBA FAQs
How much does it cost to register a Utah DBA name?
To register a DBA name in Utah, it costs $22. If you need to make any changes to the DBA name form, you can do so for $15. For renewals, you will need to pay $27 to renew the DBA name. Lastly, if you need to cancel or transfer the name, you can do so for free.
What is the processing time to register a Utah DBA?
If you file for a DBA name online, the name will be registered within 24 hours. If you prefer to register in person, you can submit a paper application. This can take up to seven business days to process.
Do I need a DBA name for my Utah business?
Although not every business needs to register a DBA name, it can still be very beneficial. If you plan to conduct business under a name that is not your official business entity name, you will need to register a DBA name to comply with Utah laws. For instance, if you own an LLC and want to remove the “LLC” from your name, you will need to register a DBA name. On another note, if you want to release individual product lines or services, registering a DBA name allows you to conduct business under unique names.
If I register a DBA name in Utah, can another business use the same name?
In Utah, DBA names need to be unique from registered names and trademarks. Federal trademarks protect your business name, goods, and services at the federal level. You can search for your desired name using this database. Registering a trademark prevents someone else from using your name.
Can a business in Utah have multiple DBA names?
Yes. You can have multiple DBA names for your business in Utah. In many cases, businesses will have multiple DBA names registered to differentiate between services, packages, and goods. For example, a small candle-making business can have a DBA name for each of their four seasonal candle lines.
Is a DBA name the same thing as a fictitious business name in Utah?
In Utah, you will see the DBA name referred to as an “assumed name.” It is also called a “trade name” or “fictitious name” in other states.
Do I need a DBA name in Utah if I use my own name for a sole proprietorship?
If you want to conduct business under your legal name, you do not need to register a DBA name. However, if you would like to conduct business under a name that is not your legal name, you will need to register a DBA name in accordance with Utah law.
Will using a DBA name affect how my business is taxed in Utah?
Since a DBA name is just an alternative name, it is not a new business entity. This means that you will not be taxed differently at the local, state, or federal level.
Do you need additional help with business filings for your business in Utah? At ZenBusiness, our expert team members are here to help your business grow. We specialize in business compliance and formation, so you can rely on us and focus on running your business.