Are you a New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey DBA?
In New Jersey, the process for getting a DBA, or “Alternate Name,” is rather simple. Unlike most states, you do not need to run a business entity search before filing your DBA in New Jersey. According to the Department of the Treasury: “After a business entity has been established or receives authorization to do business in New Jersey, it may legally do business under an alternate name once the alternate name is registered. This applies to profit and non-profit corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships. The selection of the alternate name is not subject to name availability requirements as those for the business entity name. Although the registration of the alternate name will not provide exclusive rights to its usage, it will legally link the name to the corporate entity and enable the business to use the alternate name for financial, advertising and other business purposes.”
This ensures that your desired business name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business in the state.
To file your DBA, you will need to fill out Form C-150G, which can be downloaded from this link. This form requires some general information about yourself and your company, as well as the “alternate name” that you want to use. Once you finish filling out this form, you’ll need to include a check for $50 made payable to “NJ Division of Revenue.” Then, you can mail the form and the check to the following address: NJ Division of Revenue Corporate Unit
PO Box 308
Trenton, NJ 08646
NJ Division of Revenue Corporate Unit PO Box 308 Trenton, NJ 08646If you prefer to file the paperwork online, you can register and renew your DBA online here.
How Long Does a New Jersey DBA Last?
All New Jersey DBAs are effective for a period of five years. If you would like to continue using your DBA name beyond the five-year point, you should file form C-150R, which can be found at this link. You can also renew your DBA online here. Each time you file a renewal, the state of New Jersey will renew your DBA for another five-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.
While hiring a DBA service can save you some time, there are probably better ways to use your budget. In other states, the process can be more complicated, but the requirements for obtaining a New Jersey DBA are simple and give you the flexibility of filing online or by mail. That said, if you’re just too busy to handle any more tasks, 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey; 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 New Jersey require publication of a DBA name?
A: No, you do not need to publish notice of your DBA in New Jersey.