Updated July 14, 2020: 

Knowing how to file a DBA in Georgia is important for companies that want to do business under a different name than the one that was chosen when they were first established. DBA stands for doing business as. In the state of Georgia, it is required by law for a business to file for a DBA if it wishes to do business under a different name, and this applies to partnerships, incorporated companies, and limited liability companies.

What Is the Importance of Filing for a DBA?

When you register your DBA, you are taking steps to prevent other companies in the same area from operating under the name you have chosen. It is possible for corporations to operate under various business names without having to form a separate business entity for each name.

Georgia, like many other states, has its court systems handle the DBA filing process. You will need to contact the County Superior Court Clerk's office in the county you wish to operate the business out of to file for a DBA. Generally, a DBA must be filed at the state level, but it is not uncommon to have to file them at local or county levels too.

Why Do Businesses File for a DBA?

To open a bank account for a business under a different name than the one you chose when you first established the company, you will need to file for a DBA. This also applies when you wish to conduct transactions under a different name. Four of the most common times you will need to file for a DBA are:

  • When opening a business bank account.
  • For advertising purposes.
  • When accepting payments.
  • When creating contracts.

How to File for a DBA in Georgia

When you decide on a name you wish to use for your business, you will need to conduct a county-wide search to ensure the name is not being used by another company. If you discover the name is already being used, you will need to choose a different name because you will not be able to file a DBA for it. The county-wide search for a name can typically be done by contacting the County Clerk's Office.

Depending on the county in which you are filing the DBA, you may have to fill out certain paperwork and meet certain registration requirements. It's also important to identify any restrictions that may be in place. For example, the DBA name cannot include the word Company in it, nor can it include the word Limited.

It also varies by county as to whether or not you will have to publish your intention to file for the DBA in a newspaper. If you do, the notice of your intent to operate under a different name will have to be published for a specified amount of time, typically being a few days or several weeks.

Once the notice has been published according to the guidelines, you will receive a notice from the newspaper company stating you have met the requirements to file for a DBA. You can ask your County Clerk's Office for more information regarding the exact requirements that must be met.

State Rules for Filing for a DBA

Even though rules vary from one county to the next in Georgia, there are some rules that occur at the state level that apply to all entities applying for a DBA. These rules include:

  • You must provide your name or the name of the company that is filing for the DBA.
  • You must outline the official address of the business.
  • You must state the new name you want to register.
  • If applicable, you must provide your certificate from the county newspaper stating you have made it publicly known you wish to file for a DBA.

To complete the DBA filing process, you will also need to provide the names and addresses of anyone who owns the business. The form must be signed by the owner(s); this signature must be notarized. Once you are ready, you will submit the application to the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court, and you will have to pay a filing fee; this fee varies from county to county.

According to Georgia state law O.C. G.A. 10-1-490, you must file for a DBA within 30 days of conducting any type of business operation under a name other than the one that was chosen when the company was established.

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