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

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How to Get a DBA Name in Illinois

If you want to use a different name other than the legal name for your business in Illinois, 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 Illinois LLC reach a wider audience.

Illinois, also known as The Prairie 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 Illinois.

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 Illinois

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 Illinois 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 Illinois under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must file a DBA name with Illinois 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 Illinois

Want to obtain a DBA name in Illinois? 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 Illinois, ensuring that no other business is already using your chosen name is crucial. To confirm name availability in Illinois, search the Illinois Secretary of State Corporation/LLC Search database provided by the Illinois 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 Illinois, 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 Illinois 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 Illinois DBA Name

Once you have determined that the name is available for registration, complete the required forms provided by your county or the Illinois Secretary of State. You must register your DBA name in the county where you intend to conduct business. In most Illinois 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 Illinois DBA Name, you must apply to the Illinois Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. In Illinois, you can file the DBA name using various methods, such as (three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing.). The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in Illinois is $50. This fee may vary depending on the method of filing or the specific county where you are registering your DBA name.

  • Online: For online filing, check the Illinois Cook County Clerk. There, look for the “Assumed Names” section. You will get the registration form.
  • Offline: For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form or drop it off in person at the Cook County Clerk, Vital Statistics P.O. Box 641070, Chicago IL, 60664-1070, ATTN: Assumed Name Unit

Step 5: Use the Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois and use it to enhance your business’s visibility and reach.

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DBA Name in Illinois: A Detailed Guide

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

Renewing a DBA Name in Illinois

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 Illinois DBA to ensure continued compliance with state regulations.

To renew your DBA name in Illinois, 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 Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois Secretary of State or the county office. Keep this documentation for your records.

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Changing a DBA Name in Illinois

If you need to change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name), apply to the Illinois 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 Illinois, 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 Illinois Government Records Inquiry System or the Illinois Secretary of State Corporation/LLC Search database provided by the Illinois Secretary of State to confirm business name availability in Illinois.
  2. Complete the change application: Obtain the trade name change application from the Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois 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?
A DBA (doing business as) name is an assumed or fictitious name that an individual or business uses to conduct business activities under a name different from their legal name.
Do I need to register a DBA name in Illinois?
Yes, you must register a DBA name in Illinois if you plan to conduct business activities under a name other than your legal name.
How can I check if my DBA name is available in Illinois?
You can search for existing DBA names on the Illinois Secretary of State website to ensure that the name you plan to use is not already being used.
Can I use a non-existent name as my DBA name in Illinois?
No, you cannot use a non-existent name as your DBA name in Illinois as this is not allowed by the state’s registration requirements.
How much does it cost to register a DBA name in Illinois?
The fee to register a DBA name in Illinois is $21 as of 2021.
How long does it take to receive approval for a DBA name in Illinois?
The approval process for a DBA name in Illinois typically takes around 5-10 business days.
Do I need to file a DBA name renewal in Illinois?
Yes, you are required to renew your DBA name in Illinois every 5 years.
Can I change my DBA name after I’ve registered it in Illinois?
Yes, you can change your DBA name in Illinois by filing an amendment to your original registration.
Can two businesses have the same DBA name in Illinois?
No, two businesses cannot have the same DBA name in Illinois.
What if I operate in multiple counties in Illinois for my DBA name?
You must select a county in which you will file your DBA name registration, but this does not prevent you from conducting business in multiple counties.
Can I register a DBA name as an LLC in Illinois?
Yes, you can register a DBA name under an LLC in Illinois.
Do I need a lawyer to register a DBA name in Illinois?
No, you do not need a lawyer to register a DBA name in Illinois, but if you have any legal concerns about your business activities, consulting a lawyer is always recommended.
Is there a deadline to register a DBA name in Illinois?
There is no specific deadline to register a DBA name in Illinois, but it is recommended that you do so as soon as you decide on a name.
Can an individual register a DBA name in Illinois?
Yes, an individual can register a DBA name in Illinois.
Should I trademark my DBA name in Illinois?
While not required, it is recommended that you consider trademarking your DBA name in Illinois for legal protection.
Does my DBA name registration need to be notarized in Illinois?
No, your DBA name registration does not need to be notarized in Illinois.
Do I need to have a physical address in Illinois to register a DBA name?
No, you do not need to have a physical address in Illinois to register a DBA name, but you do need to provide an Illinois address for service of process.
Can I register a DBA name online in Illinois?
Yes, you can register a DBA name online on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.
Can I register a DBA name by mail in Illinois?
Yes, you can register a DBA name by mail by filling out the appropriate form and sending it to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
What information do I need to provide to register a DBA name in Illinois?
To register a DBA name in Illinois, you will need to provide your legal name, contact information, the chosen DBA name, and other legal details such as signature and date of registration.
Can I use my DBA name in other states besides Illinois?
Yes, you can use your registered DBA name in other states where your business operates if you fulfill registration requirements in those states as well.
When should I apply for a DBA name in Illinois?
It’s recommended to apply for a DBA name in Illinois as soon as you decide on a name for your business.
How long can I use my DBA name in Illinois?
You can continue to use your DBA name in Illinois as long as you renew your registration every 5 years and keep your business in good standing.
What do I need to do if I have changes to my DBA name information in Illinois?
Notify the Illinois Secretary of State if any changes occur in your registered DBA name information within 60 days of such changes occurring.
What happens if I don’t register a DBA name in Illinois?
Operating a business under a DBA name in Illinois without registering it is illegal and exposes you to legal penalties, including fines.
How do I withdraw my Illinois DBA name registration?
To withdraw your Illinois DBA name registration, you need to provide a formal notice with the appropriate information to the Secretary of State.
Can I register more than one DBA name for my business in Illinois?
Yes, you can register multiple DBA names for your business in Illinois by filing a separate registration form for each name.
What is the Illinois Tax Identification number, and do I need it to register a DBA name?
The Illinois Tax Identification number is a unique identifying number assigned to businesses operating in Illinois, which is required for doing business. You will need it to register a DBA name.
What are the requirements to register a DBA name for a partnership in Illinois?
To register a DBA name for a partnership in Illinois, all partners in the business must be listed in the registration and sign it.

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Conclusion

Navigating obtaining, renewing, or changing a DBA name in Illinois 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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