Read the following guide to learn all you need to know about Wyoming DBA names, including local regulations governing them, how to get one, and the benefits of having a DBA name.
What is a Wyoming “doing business as” (DBA) name?
“Doing business as” refers to a company operating under a different name than its legal name. DBA names are used across the nation, but there are differences from state to state. A DBA name might also be referred to as a “fictitious name,” “assumed name,” or something similar. In Wyoming, a DBA name is known as a “trade name.”
In some states, you must have a DBA name to enact business. The mandate may just be at the state level or a requirement at the county or city level. In Wyoming, it is not necessary to have a DBA name to register and operate a business.
Even so, many businesses see an advantage in having a Wyoming DBA name. For example, a sole proprietorship might want to operate under a name other than the owner’s name. On the other hand, a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) might require a DBA name to identify a new line of business for the company or drop the official suffix from their operating name (“LLC,” “Corp.,” “Inc.,” etc.).
Other advantages in having a Wyoming DBA name include:
- Using a DBA enables businesses to create bank accounts and phone listings using their business name. (Banks may ask for a DBA name to use as proof of the trade name.)
- A Wyoming DBA name can help polish your brand, better identifying the type of business you run, your competitive advantage, or the types of goods or services you supply.
- If you are launching multiple lines of business, separate trade names are an easier and more cost-effective way to register each one (rather than creating separate business entities).
- Registering a DBA name means that you can use a business name legally without incorporating.
It should be noted that a Wyoming DBA name is essentially an alias for your business. It does not affect your tax status at the federal and state levels. These are determined by the type of business entity you have.
Read the following to discover how to choose your Wyoming DBA name, register it, and manage related compliance issues.
How do I choose a Wyoming DBA name?
When choosing a Wyoming DBA name, it’s a good idea to pick one that:
- Is consistent with your brand and reflects who you are and what you offer.
- Isn’t too similar to a competitor’s name. This could be confusing for your customers and might get you involved in a trademark infringement suit.
- Is easy for people to spell and pronounce.
- Lends itself to a business domain name.
- Doesn’t define you too narrowly. For example, “Marlon’s Laramie Burgers” might not do well if you extend your business to Cheyenne.
A trade name can’t be registered with the Wyoming Secretary of State if it “is the same as, or deceptively similar to, a trademark or service mark registered in this state, or is not distinguishable from the names of other business entities.” It also cannot contain any word or phrase that indicates it is engaged in the business of banking or insurance unless it is and complies with various state regulations.
You can reserve a trade name for 120 days in Wyoming by filling out the appropriate form and submitting it with a check or money order to the Secretary of State’s office in Cheyenne.
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s fast becoming a necessity to have a strong e-commerce site with an easy-to-remember domain name that reflects the nature of your business. You should reserve your domain name early to prevent a competitor from securing it before you.
How do I register a Wyoming DBA name?
You register your Wyoming DBA name by downloading and filling out the appropriate form and mailing it to the Wyoming Secretary of State. Note that there is not an online filing option.
The trade name form instructions point out that the applicant must:
- Submit one signed and notarized filing.
- Include the filing fee of $100, with a check or money order made out to the “Wyoming Secretary of State.”
- Have their trade name in use before registering.
- Be registered and in good standing with the Wyoming Secretary of State if they are a business before applying.
- Submit the application so that it complies with Wyoming Statutes 40-2-101 through 40-2-109.
- Provide at least one email address with the application for registration. (The email address is only used only to send the applicant a certificate of evidence.)
The “Application for Registration of Trade Name” needs to include:
- The trade name to be registered
- The name of the applicant
- The business address
- The mailing address (if different than the business address)
- The type of business entity you are
- The names and addresses of the partners, general partners, or trustees if the business is a partnership, a general partnership, or statutory trust
- A description of the type of business being conducted
- The date and signature of the applicant, with their printed name and title
- The name of a contact person with a telephone number and email address
- Originally signed notary information, with the signatory’s name, signature, date, notary’s commission expiration date, and notarial seal
Once a Wyoming DBA name registration is submitted, the typical processing time for a trade name application is three to five business days. There is no provision for expedited processing. Applications are processed in the order they are received.
How do I manage ongoing DBA name compliance in Wyoming?
Once registered, a Wyoming DBA name needs to be renewed every 10 years, filling in and mailing back the appropriate form, certifying that your trade name is still in use, accompanied by a $50 fee. The renewal cannot be submitted more than six months before the trade name expiration.
Canceling a trade name requires a $10 filing fee and the appropriate signed form, indicating the name to be canceled and the original date of registration. To transfer the Wyoming DBA name to someone else requires filing out the appropriate form and returning it with a $25 fee. The form should include the names and business addresses of the assignor and assignee, the trade name registration number, and the assignor’s signature.
More Wyoming DBA FAQs
How much does it cost to register a Wyoming DBA name?
To register a Wyoming DBA name costs $100. Renewals of trade names cost $50 each and are due every 10 years. To cancel a trade name is $10, and to assign it to someone else costs $25. In all cases, the business must print, fill out, and sign the appropriate form and mail it to the Secretary of State with a check or money order for the indicated amount.
What is the processing time to register a Wyoming DBA?
Processing time for Wyoming trade name registrations, renewals, cancellations, and assignments is three to five business days. There is no expedited processing option available. Forms are processed in the order they are received.
Do I need a DBA name for my Wyoming business?
Wyoming doesn’t require that you have a DBA name for your business. However, many businesses find it a good idea to have a DBA name. For example, it allows LLCs to use an operating name for their business other than their own or drop “LLC” (or an equivalent official suffix) from their working name. Or a corporation might want to have trade names for different lines of business.
If I register a DBA name in Wyoming, can another business use the same name?
A DBA name cannot be registered in Wyoming if it “is the same as, or deceptively similar to, a trademark or service mark registered in this state, or is not distinguishable from the names of other business entities.” Also, a DBA name does not override an existing trademark, so to protect your brand going forward, it is a good idea to trademark your name.
Can a business in Wyoming have multiple DBA names?
Yes, a Wyoming business can have multiple DBA names. This might be used to differentiate different parts of a company’s business. For example, a wedding photographer who also does video shoots of kids’ parties might have two distinct DBA names: “Wedding Shoots by Phil” and “Kids Party Video Mania by Phil.”
Is a DBA name the same thing as a fictitious business name in Wyoming?
In some states, a DBA name and “fictitious business name” can be used interchangeably. In Wyoming, foreign (out-of-state) corporations and LLCs looking to do business in the state need to apply for a fictitious name if their real one is unavailable for use in the state. The DBA name for a domestic business is known as a trade name.
Do I need a DBA name in Wyoming if I use my own name for a sole proprietorship?
If you’re a sole proprietorship, you’re not allowed to conduct business under any name other than your legal name without the special authorization of a registered Wyoming DBA name.
Will using a DBA name affect how my business is taxed in Wyoming?
A DBA name for your business is essentially a legal alias you operate under. It does not establish a new business entity; therefore, it doesn’t have any tax implications for your company at the federal or state level. You are taxed according to the business entity you are (corporation, partnership, LLC, etc.).