Starting your own business is a major milestone. As a Los Angeles resident, it’s important to understand the local laws and regulations for setting up your business. DBA and LLC are two of the most popular business structures in Los Angeles. They each offer different benefits and may be applicable depending on the size and type of business you are looking to start.

This article will provide a comprehensive overview of DBA and LLC businesses in Los Angeles, helping you determine which business is the right fit for you.

What Is a DBA?

A DBA (“Doing Business As”) is a business name registered with the government. It is a form of business organization that creates a form of legal identity for activities, services, or products that are not available from a sole proprietorship or partnership.

A DBA allows entrepreneurs to operate under a name that is different from their own. It is most commonly used for sole proprietors and small business owners who wish to operate under a name that is different from their own personal name.

In Los Angeles, registering a DBA is a relatively straightforward and affordable process. All that’s needed is an application which includes the name of the business, address, and contact info. The application is filed with the Los Angeles County Clerk. Once filing is complete, a DBA business is legally valid and registered.

Pros & Cons of DBA

The primary benefit of DBA is the opportunity for a business owner to carry out operations under a name other than their personal name. Forming a DBA gives a business a distinct identity that is separate from the owner. Additionally, it can help protect personal assets and establish a layer of liability protection.

However, there are several downsides. While a DBA does not require formal paperwork or hefty filing fees, it offers limited legal protection and there is the risk that creditors and other people may not recognize your rights as the owner.

What Is an LLC?

An LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a hybrid of a corporation and a partnership. It is a business structure that is created to establish a separate and distinct legal entity for the purpose of protecting the owner’s personal assets.

In Los Angeles, forming an LLC involves filing formal paperwork with the California Secretary of State, including articles of incorporation and application for a business license. Additionally, the state requires LLC’s to hold an annual meeting and keep formal records of all its financial dealings.

Pros & Cons of LLC

LLC’s offer a number of advantages, such as personal liability protection, more flexibility in management, and tax savings. They also provide business owners with more credibility with investors and lenders.

However, LLC’s require more paperwork and higher filing fees than DBA’s do. Additionally, some LLC’s are required to pay annual maintenance fees.

Which Business Structure Is Right for You?

The decision between DBA and LLC comes down to your specific needs. If you're a one-person business with little risk of liability, a DBA may be sufficient. However, if you're looking for limited liability protection and tax benefits, an LLC is likely the better option.

When starting a business in Los Angeles, it’s important to make sure that your business is legally registered, and that you're aware of the laws and regulations in your area. To get more information and expert advice on what type of business structure is right for you, consider engaging a local business lawyer on UpCounsel. Whether you need a one-time consult or an entire freelance legal department, UpCounsel’s network of experienced lawyers has you covered. From small businesses to the Fortune 1000, groundbreaking companies of all sizes trust UpCounsel and its attorney community to provide high quality, cost-effective legal services. With easy access to top-notch legal advice, setting up your business in Los Angeles can be a much easier and stress-free process.




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