Are you a Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada DBA?
In Nevada, the process for getting a DBA, or “fictitious firm name,” is a little more complex than in other states. The first step is to run a business name search with the Nevada Secretary of State, which you can do here. While this will help you make sure there are no other businesses currently registered under the same name with the Secretary of State, it is not a comprehensive search. In Nevada, DBAs are filed at the county level, and there is no system in place to cross-reference DBA records between multiple counties. So, to ensure that your DBA name is available, you will need to contact your local county clerk directly. You can find a list of county clerk offices here.
This ensures that your desired business name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business in the state.
The requirements, forms, and fees will vary by county, but for most counties, you will need to provide your desired DBA name and general information about your business. You can contact the clerk’s office in the county in which your business is located for more information.
How Long Does a Nevada DBA Last?
The lifespan of your DBA will depend on the laws in your county, however most counties provide DBAs for a period of five years. The renewal process will also vary by county. In Clark County, for example, DBAs must be renewed every five years, and the county sends out reminders with renewal information approximately 60 days prior to the DBA expiration.
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 in Nevada, it may be worth it. Most DBA paperwork is not too complicated, but it will take time to figure out the specific rules for your county. Additionally, if your business operates in multiple counties, you may need to file a new DBA in each one. So, if you’d like to save yourself the trouble, 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 Nevada 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 Nevada; 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 Nevada require publication of a DBA name?
A: At the state level, Nevada does not require DBA publication. However, the rules regarding DBA publication may vary by county, so it is best to check with your local county clerk’s office before filing your paperwork.