How to Get a DBA Name in Georgia 2024: A Complete Guide

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How to Get a DBA Name in Georgia

If you want to use a different name other than the legal name for your business in Georgia, you must file a DBA (Doing Business As) name. The public, specifically your potential customers, will recognize your business by its registered legal name. Using a trade name or DBA in marketing and sales can help your Georgia LLC reach a wider audience.

Georgia, also known as The Peach State, has specific regulations for filing a DBA name. However, these regulations can vary depending on your business structure. At LLCBase, we understand that forming a business can be an overwhelming experience, so we are here to help you every step of the way. This article will provide the essential steps to obtain a DBA Name in Georgia.

What is a DBA

A DBA, which stands for “Doing Business As,” is a name under which a business operates that differs from its legal name. It is also known as a trade, assumed, or fictitious name. A DBA allows business owners, such as sole proprietors, general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations, to conduct business under a separate name without creating a new legal entity.

Registering a DBA is important for several reasons, including legal compliance, branding, and customer recognition. The process for obtaining a DBA varies by jurisdiction and may require filing with a state or county government office. Researching local regulations and following the steps to register your DBA name properly is essential.

Understanding DBA Names in Georgia

You must choose a name when you form an LLC or any business structure. Every company has a legal name. For example, a partnership or sole proprietorship might operate under the legal name of the company’s owner or owners. The name specified in the Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization can be used by any business entity, including corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and others.

There are situations when you may decide not to use your company’s registered legal name in Georgia for various reasons. Your company’s legal name might not be relevant to your business or no longer accurately describe it. Alternatively, you might want a new name without changing your incorporation or registration documents.

If you plan to start your business in Georgia under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must file a DBA name with Georgia state, regardless of the type of business entity you have incorporated as (sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or LLC).

There are no restrictions on how many DBA names you can use for your business. However, each DBA name must be filed with the state where you conduct business. This is necessary because the general public has a legal right to know whether a specific individual or company is operating under a name other than their legal name.

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How to Obtain a DBA Name in Georgia

Want to obtain a DBA name in Georgia? Simply follow these easy-peasy steps, and you’ll be well on your way to securing that perfect “doing business as” name in no time!

Step 1: Check Name Availability

Before filing a DBA in Georgia, ensuring that no other business is already using your chosen name is crucial. To confirm name availability in Georgia, search the Georgia Corporations Division database provided by the Georgia Secretary of State. This step is important to avoid potential legal issues and confusion for customers.

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Step 2: Choose a DBA Name

In Georgia, fictitious names cannot be identical or too similar. A DBA should avoid deceiving the public by appearing confusingly similar to any other business name. When choosing a DBA name, ensure it follows the guidelines and restrictions the Georgia government sets. These guidelines may include avoiding certain words or phrases, such as those related to banking, insurance, or professional designations, without proper authorization.

Step 3: Register the Georgia DBA Name

Once you have determined that the name is available for registration, complete the required forms provided by your county or the Georgia Secretary of State. You must register your DBA name in the county where you intend to conduct business. In most Georgia counties, specific information is required, such as the company’s name, organization type, and description of the products or services to be provided under the Fictitious Name. Carefully complete the necessary forms and ensure all information is accurate and complete.

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Step 4: Submit the Application

To file the Georgia DBA Name, you must apply to the Georgia Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. In Georgia, you can file the DBA name using various methods, such as (two methods, by mail and in person). The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in Georgia is $172. This fee may vary depending on the method of filing or the specific county where you are registering your DBA name.

  • Online: There is no online filing available
  • Offline: For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form or drop it off in person at the Clerk of Superior Court, Attention: Recording Division, 136 Pryor St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Step 5: Use the Georgia DBA Name

Once your DBA name is registered and approved, you can use it in your business operations. Be prepared to provide three “specimens” demonstrating the Trade Name used, such as business cards, booklets, flyers, labels, or stickers. These specimens may be requested by the Georgia Secretary of State or the county office as proof of usage. Properly displaying your DBA name in your marketing materials, signage, and other business documents is essential to ensure customers and clients know your new trade name.

Following these steps, you can obtain a DBA name in Georgia and use it to enhance your business’s visibility and reach.

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DBA Name in Georgia: A Detailed Guide

Read the comprehensive guide to renewing and changing a DBA name in Georgia:

Renewing a DBA Name in Georgia

It is essential to renew your DBA name periodically to maintain its validity. In most states, renewing a DBA name follows the same process as filing a new DBA name. Every Indefinite, you should renew your Georgia DBA to ensure continued compliance with state regulations.

To renew your DBA name in Georgia, follow these steps:

  1. Check the renewal deadline: Be aware of the renewal deadline for your DBA name, typically every Indefinite. Missing the deadline may result in penalties or loss of your trade name rights.
  2. Complete the renewal application: Obtain the renewal application from the Georgia Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. Fill out the required information, including updates on your business address, contact information, and a description of the products or services provided under the Fictitious Name.
  3. Submit the renewal application: Submit the completed renewal application to the Georgia Secretary of State or the appropriate county office by the deadline. Be prepared to pay the renewal fee, which may vary depending on the method of submission or the specific county where you are renewing your DBA name.
  4. Receive confirmation: Once your renewal has been processed and approved, you will receive confirmation from the Georgia Secretary of State or the county office. Keep this documentation for your records.

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Changing a DBA Name in Georgia

If you need to change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name), apply to the Georgia Secretary of State (SOS) or the appropriate county office. The process for changing a trading name is similar to registering a new DBA. You can reserve your DBA name for Indefinite.

To change your trade name in Georgia, follow these steps:

  1. Check name availability: Before applying for a new trade name, ensure that another business still needs to use the desired name. Search the Georgia Government Records Inquiry System or the Georgia Corporations Division database provided by the Georgia Secretary of State to confirm business name availability in Georgia.
  2. Complete the change application: Obtain the trade name change application from the Georgia Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. Fill out the required information, including the current and new trade names you wish to use.
  3. Submit the change application: Submit the completed change application to the Georgia Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. Be prepared to pay the change fee, which may vary depending on the submission method or the county where you change your DBA name.
  4. Receive confirmation: Once your trade name change has been processed and approved, you will receive confirmation from the Georgia Secretary of State or the county office. Keep this documentation for your records and update all relevant business materials with the new trade name.

FAQs

What is a DBA name?
DBA stands for “doing business as,” which means a name that a business operates under that is not its legal name.
Why would I want a DBA name?
You might want a DBA name to create a separate brand for a specific product or service, or to avoid confusion with a similar business name.
Can I get a DBA name in Georgia?
Yes, Georgia allows businesses to register DBA names.
What is the process to get a DBA name in Georgia?
You will need to file a “Certificate of Assumed Name” with the clerk of the Superior Court in the county where you plan to use the DBA name.
How much does it cost to file a Certificate of Assumed Name in Georgia?
There is no set fee for filing a Certificate of Assumed Name in Georgia as the cost may vary by county.
What information do I need to file a Certificate of Assumed Name in Georgia?
You will need to provide the legal name of your business, the proposed DBA name, and your primary business address.
Do I need a separate business license to use a DBA name in Georgia?
No, you do not need a separate business license to use a DBA name in Georgia.
What happens after I file a Certificate of Assumed Name in Georgia?
If your application is approved, you will receive a certificate allowing you to use the DBA name in the county where it was filed for five years.
What if my DBA name is already in use in Georgia?
If your proposed DBA name is already in use, you will need to choose another name or resolve the conflicts with the existing user.
How long does it take to obtain a DBA name in Georgia?
The processing time may differ county to county in Georgia.
Can I use my DBA name in other states besides Georgia?
Regularly other states need separate in State of Georgia if a Georgia DBA name is to be used there.
Can a sole proprietor have multiple DBA names in Georgia?
Yes, a sole proprietor can register multiple DBA names.
Can a corporation have multiple DBA names in Georgia?
Yes, a corporation can use multiple DBA names in Georgia by filing separate “Certificate of Assumed Name” for each.
Can I change my registered DBA name in Georgia?
Yes, you can change your registered DBA name for Georgia. Just obtain authorization from the applicable county’s Superior Court, where the original “Certificate of Assumed Name” was approved.
How often do I need to renew my DBA name in Georgia?
You will need to renew your DBA name in Georgia every five years by filing renewal application.
Can I cancel my Georgia DBA name registration early?
Yes, you can cancel your Georgia DBA name registration for a good legal reason.
Can an LLC have a DBA name in Georgia?
Yes, an LLC may apply and file a DBA name in Georgia.
Can a DBA name be used as a suffix in the business name in Georgia?
No, a DBA name cannot be used as a suffix to satisfy incorporated endings like “LLC” or “Inc.ton” in Georgia.
Can a DBA name contain words and phrases like “Association,” “Bank,” or “United States” in Georgia?
No, using restricted or very famous words, including these, in a registered entity’s legal or trade name is typically against Georgia state laws.
Can a DBA Name contain my personal name in Georgia?
Yes, Georgia law allows using own names among the legal or trade name phraseology.
Can I use a DBA name for my online business or website in Georgia?
Yes, Georgian permit using a DBA name for every type of online activities whether it’s an e-commerce business websites or social media platforms.
Is a DBA name a patent or exclusively belong to me in Georgia?
No, Person who applied for a DBA name would only receive the right and approval from the county to use it, in a particular area only.
How can I know if I’m the only business to use a DBA name in Georgia?
You need to check out on Georgia state-level or local level to make sure that your desired DBA name does not already exist before registration or filing it for Georgia.
Can I start my business before I register my DBA name in Georgia?
No, in Georgia registering your business name with the Secretary of State is required before selecting to register a DBA name.
Do I need to get an EIN to register a DBA name in Georgia?
If your business local, you might require an EIN or Federal Tax Identification Number to apply for a certificate of Assumed Name in Georgia.
Am I Required to publish my DBA name in a newspaper in Georgia?
There is no publishing requirement available or provided by Georgia State over a DBA name filing, unlike other Georgia business structures.
Can I obtain Tax Exemptions while doing business in Georgia through DBA names?
You might be able to obtain Georgia State local business tax exemption incentives by using your DBA name in specific areas according to county registration exact requirements.
Should I hire a lawyer to file a DBA name application in Georgia?
No, most people can fill out and submit their application without a mediator. But for important and clarifications, consult with lawyers or hir legal consultants in this respect.
What happens if I fail to renew my DBA name registration in Georgia?
If you don’t renew your DBA name registration after five years in Georgia, someone else can register and use that name.
What is a DBA?
DBA stands for “doing business as” and is a name that you use to conduct business that is different from your personal name or the name of your legal entity.
Do I need a DBA to do business in Georgia?
You are not legally required to have a DBA in Georgia, but it can be beneficial if you want to do business under a name that is different from your personal name or the name of your legal entity.
How do I choose a DBA name in Georgia?
Your DBA name should be distinguishable from other businesses in Georgia and it shouldn’t be deceptive or imply a connection to a governmental entity. You can check a name’s availability by searching the Georgia Secretary of State’s Corporations Division.
How much does it cost to get a DBA in Georgia?
The fee to file a DBA in Georgia is $25.
Can I register a DBA online in Georgia?
Yes, you can file your DBA online through the Georgia Secretary of State’s Corporations Division website.
How long does it take to get a DBA in Georgia?
The processing time for a DBA in Georgia is typically 3-5 business days.
Do I need to publicly advertise my DBA in Georgia?
Yes, you are required to advertise your DBA in a newspaper for four weeks.
What information do I need to file a DBA in Georgia?
To file a DBA in Georgia, you will need to provide your legal name or the name of your legal entity, your DBA name, and your contact information.
Can I use a DBA name in a different state if I register it in Georgia?
No, registering a DBA in Georgia only allows you to use that name in that state.
Do I need a separate EIN for my DBA in Georgia?
No, you can use the same EIN for your DBA as your legal entity.
Can I have multiple DBAs in Georgia?
Yes, you can have multiple DBAs for the same legal entity in Georgia.
What happens if I don’t file a DBA in Georgia?
If you operate under a name other than your personal name or the name of your legal entity without filing a DBA, you risk legal troubles and won’t have the same legal protections as registered businesses.
How often do I need to renew my DBA in Georgia?
There is no renewal requirement for DBAs in Georgia, but you must refile if you want to change your DBA name or address.
Can I use a DBA for a non-profit in Georgia?
Yes, non-profit organizations can use a DBA in Georgia.
Can I transfer a DBA to someone else in Georgia?
No, you cannot transfer your DBA to someone else. If you sell your business, the new owner can file their own DBA.
Do I need a DBA if I am a sole proprietor in Georgia?
If you are doing business under a name that is different from your personal name, you should file a DBA in Georgia.
Can I register more than one DBA online at once in Georgia?
Yes, you can file for multiple DBAs in one online application with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Corporations Division.
Can I change my DBA name in Georgia?
Yes, you can change your DBA name in Georgia, but you will need to refile the paperwork and advertise the new name.
Do I need to file separate DBAs for different locations in Georgia?
No, you do not need to file separate DBAs for different locations in Georgia. Your DBA is registered to your legal entity and can be used anywhere in the state.
Can I use a DBA if I am a foreign corporation doing business in Georgia?
Yes, foreign corporations can use a DBA in Georgia.
Do I need to list a physical address for my DBA in Georgia?
Yes, you must list a physical address for your DBA in Georgia, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a business address, it can be your personal address.
Can I register a DBA for a franchise business in Georgia?
Yes, franchise businesses can register a DBA in Georgia, but the wording of the DBA may be limited to comply with franchise agreement requirements.
Can I add a DBA to an existing business in Georgia?
Yes, you can add a DBA to an existing business in Georgia by filing the required paperwork and advertising the new name.
Can I change my physical address and my DBA name at the same time in Georgia?
Yes, you can update both your physical address and your DBA name at the same time by filing the necessary paperwork.
Do I need to file a DBA if I am a partnership in Georgia?
Yes, partnerships should register a DBA in Georgia if they are operating under a name that is different from the partners’ names.
Can I use a pre-existing business name for my DBA in Georgia?
No, you cannot use a business name that is already in use in Georgia for your DBA.
Can I register a DBA for a non-resident business in Georgia?
Yes, non-resident businesses can register a DBA in Georgia, but they will need to file extra paperwork.
Can I get help with filing my DBA in Georgia?
Yes, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Corporations Division can answer any questions you have about filing your DBA and may be able to provide some assistance.

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Conclusion

Navigating obtaining, renewing, or changing a DBA name in Georgia is essential to managing your business’s identity and growth. Following the outlined steps and adhering to state regulations ensures your business remains compliant and continues to thrive. Remember, a well-chosen trade name reflects your brand identity and helps you connect with your target audience more effectively. As your business evolves, it’s crucial to stay adaptable and responsive to the ever-changing market conditions, and having a suitable DBA name is a significant part of that journey.

So, embrace the opportunity to create a professional and friendly image for your business, and let your DBA name be the catalyst for success. Visit LLCBase today to access valuable resources and guidance tailored to your business needs.

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