If you file DBA Texas, it means that you want to run your business with a trade name, which is a name other than your legal name. After completing your Doing Business As (DBA) filing, you will be able to use a fictitious name for your business.

Doing Business As in Texas

Businesses in Texas that want to conduct business under a name other than their legal name must complete a DBA filing. This rule applies to corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and businesses formed in other states that are operating in Texas. You must file your DBA registration with the Secretary of State and in every county where your company does business.

General partnerships and sole proprietorships that want to do business using a trade name do not need to file their DBA with the state. These entities are only required to file a DBA registration with the office of their county clerk.

A variety of entities must file assumed name certificates when using a fictitious name. Filings should occur both in the county where the business is located and in any county where the entity will transact business. Entities subject to this requirement include:

  • General partnerships and joint ventures
  • Estates
  • Investment trusts for real estate
  • Sole proprietorships

Some business entities have to file a DBA registration at both the local and the state levels. In general, these entities will file their registration in the same county where their principal office can be found. Foreign entities can file their DBA paperwork in the county where their registered agent is located. Entities that must file at the state and local level include:

  • Corporations
  • Foreign business entities
  • Limited liability companies
  • Limited liability partnerships
  • Limited partnerships
  • Professional associations

If you want to file a DBA in Texas, you should first perform a business name search to make sure that your desired trade name is free to use. You can search the Secretary of State's corporate name database. When choosing your DBA name, you should avoid names that are:

  • Deceptive or fraudulent.
  • Have already been registered.
  • Could cause liability issues at either the federal or state level.

Steps for Filing Your DBA

Several steps are necessary to successfully complete your DBA registration. First and foremost, you will need the correct forms.

If you are filing DBA paperwork for a general partnership or sole proprietorship, you can obtain your registration form from the county clerk's office. Entities that have to file at both the county and state levels can obtain their registration form from the Secretary of State's office.

Once you've acquired your DBA registration form, you need to fill in the correct information:

  • Your legal name.
  • The principal address of your business.
  • Additional requested information.

Now, you will need to write your desired trade name on your registration form. Remember that you cannot use a fictitious name that is already registered in Texas. Do not fill out this section of the form until you have performed your business name search. When entering your primary business address in your primary space, you should be sure to write a physical street address. Generally, your principal business address is not allowed to be a post office box.

On your registration form, you will also need to indicate your business entity type. This section of the form usually consists of a check box.

It's possible that you will need to provide additional information about your company on the registration form. For example, you may need to include a statement that details the goods or services that your company provides. You may also need to list any other trade names that your company has previously used.

Finally, you should sign the form and then write the current date. A notary may need to be present when you sign the DBA registration.

LLCs, LLPs, and corporations must provide much more information on their registration than other entities, including:

  • The proposed trade name.
  • The entity's legal name.
  • The jurisdiction where the entity is located.
  • The business address.
  • How long the fictitious name will be in use. Trade names can only be used for up to 10 years.
  • What type of entity is filing the registration.
  • Whether the business has a location in Texas.
  • The counties where the entity has a presence.
  • A signature.

Your business's tax status will not be altered if you register a DBA.

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