Are you a Nebraska business owner who wants to be able to operate your company under an assumed name? If so, consider acquiring a doing business as (DBA) name.
How do you obtain a DBA name for your Nebraska company, and how are you allowed to use your new name? In this guide, we’ll walk through every detail of the DBA acquisition process in this state.
What is a Nebraska DBA?
For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, a DBA enables you to use a name other than the owner’s personal name. For limited liability companies and corporations, DBAs allow you to use multiple names to officially refer to your business activities.
There are many different reasons for Nebraska companies to acquire ‘doing business as’ names.
- For sole proprietorships and partnerships, they can make your company sound more professional than simply using your own name. You can also open a bank account using your DBA, which can not only help you keep your business and personal assets separate, but customers often have a higher comfort level writing out a check to a business name rather than to an individual’s personal name.
- For corporations and LLCs, DBAs are frequently used to give the company the option of using different names for separate product lines. Another common usage of a DBA is to distinguish satellite businesses from your main company. Restaurant owners love to do this, as for example it can help a fine-dining establishment open a fast-casual spin-off restaurant without affecting customers’ perceptions of the original location. Whether you want to create this separation for marketing or accounting purposes (or both), a doing business as name gives companies options that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
In short, a DBA in Nebraska allows businesses to communicate their image and express themselves in different ways without having to actually form a new business to do so.
How Do I File a Nebraska DBA?
In order to file a Nebraska DBA, also known as a “Trade Name,” you will first need to make sure that your desired name has not already been taken by another business. You can do this by running a corporate & business entity search.
This ensures that your desired business name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business in the state.
You’ll then need to fill out the Application for Registration of Trade Name, which requires some important information about your company, including: Secretary of State Business Services Division
P.O. Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509
Once you finish filling out this form, you’ll need to include a check for $100 made payable to “Nebraska Secretary of State.” Then, you can either file the paperwork online here, or mail the form and check to the Secretary of State’s office:
Secretary of State Business Services Division P.O. Box 94608 Lincoln, NE 68509Once the forms and payment are sent, there is still one more step to finish filing your Nebraska DBA. According to Nebraska state law, "every duplicate of the registration of a trade name shall be published by the applicant once in a newspaper of general circulation published in the city or village where the business is to be located, or, if there is no newspaper in the city or village, in some newspaper of general circulation in the county. Proof of such publication shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State within forty-five days from the date of registration in the office of the Secretary of State. If proof of publication is not filed with the Secretary of State within the forty-five days, the registration shall be canceled by the Secretary of State."
How Long Does a Nebraska DBA Last?
A Nebraska DBA registration has an effective lifespan of ten years from the date it is filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State.If you would like to continue using your DBA beyond the ten-year point, you should file a renewal with the Secretary of State’s office within six months of the expiration date. Each time you file a renewal, the state of Nebraska will renew your DBA for another ten-year period.
Should I Hire a Professional DBA Filing Service?
If you’d rather not fill out the paperwork and register for a DBA yourself, there are plenty of reputable companies offering a service. For a fee, these services will assemble the relevant paperwork and submit it to your state, and all you have to do is supply them with some basic information.
Hiring a DBA service can save you some time, and it may be worth considering in the state of Nebraska. Although the paperwork is not overly complicated, Nebraska does require DBA publication in a local newspaper, and the process is more expensive than most other states. Since the Nebraska DBAs last for ten years (twice as long as most states), it might be best to let a service provider look over your paperwork to make sure everything is in order. So, if you’re just too busy to handle any more tasks or want to ensure the accuracy of your paperwork, most service providers (Ex: LegalZoom) charge a fair rate for this service.
The doing business as name, or DBA for short, is one of the most simple business filings for Nebraska entrepreneurs. The process to acquire one is quite straightforward, and you can begin using your new assumed name as soon as the state completes your filing.
We hope this article answered your questions about how to file a Nebraska; DBA!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does a DBA provide any legal protections?
A: No, registering a DBA does not legally protect you or your business. If you’re seeking personal asset protection, you might want to look into forming a corporation or a limited liability company rather than just acquiring a DBA name.
Q: Does a DBA need a registered agent?
A: A registered agent is not a legal requirement for sole proprietorships or general partnerships that acquire DBA names. However, limited liability companies and corporations do require a registered agent whether they have a DBA or not.
Q: Can someone else register a business using the same name as my DBA?
A: Filing a DBA does not give your business exclusive rights to your assumed name. If someone wants to use the same name, and they form an LLC or corporation with it, they are legally allowed to take your name for themselves.
Q: Does the state of Nebraska require publication of a DBA name?
A: Yes, Nebraska does require publication of DBAs in a local newspaper. Proof of this publication must be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office within 45 days of the DBA filing.