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

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How to Get a DBA Name in Louisiana

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

Louisiana, also known as The Pelican 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 Louisiana.

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 Louisiana

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

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

Once you have determined that the name is available for registration, complete the required forms provided by your county or the Louisiana Secretary of State. You must register your DBA name in the county where you intend to conduct business. In most Louisiana 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 Louisiana DBA Name, you must apply to the Louisiana Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. In Louisiana, 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 Louisiana is $75 Filing Fee and $300 for 24-hour Expedited fiiling. 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 Louisiana geauxBIZ Website. There, look for the “Fictitious Names” section. You will get the registration form.
  • Offline: For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form to the Office of the Commercial Division, P.O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125 or drop it off in person at the Louisiana Secretary of State, 8585 Archives Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70809

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

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DBA Name in Louisiana: A Detailed Guide

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

Renewing a DBA Name in Louisiana

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 ten years, you should renew your Louisiana DBA to ensure continued compliance with state regulations.

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

  1. Check the renewal deadline: Be aware of the renewal deadline for your DBA name, typically every ten years. 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana Secretary of State or the county office. Keep this documentation for your records.

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Changing a DBA Name in Louisiana

If you need to change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name), apply to the Louisiana 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 ten years.

To change your trade name in Louisiana, 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 Louisiana Government Records Inquiry System or the Louisiana Secretary of State Corporations Search database provided by the Louisiana Secretary of State to confirm business name availability in Louisiana.
  2. Complete the change application: Obtain the trade name change application from the Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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” and is a name under which a business operates that is different from its legal name.
Do I need a DBA to operate a business in Louisiana?
If you operate a sole proprietorship or a general partnership and you want to use a business name that is different from your name or your partners’ names, you will need to register a DBA.
Where do I go to register a DBA in Louisiana?
You will need to register your DBA with your parish clerk of court in Louisiana.
How much does it cost to register a DBA in Louisiana?
The cost varies by parish, but most likely it will cost anywhere from $25 to $100 to register a DBA in Louisiana.
How long does it take to get a DBA name in Louisiana?
The registration process may take from a few days to several weeks depending on the county, so be sure to plan ahead.
What is the difference between a DBA and a trade name or trade mark?
A DBA provides legal recognition of a name under which you are doing business, while a trade name or trademark is an intellectual property right that confers exclusive use of a particular word, symbol or design.
Can multiple businesses use the same DBA name in Louisiana?
A DBA name registration does not provide exclusive rights to that name, so multiple businesses can operate under the same DBA name.
Can I use my personal name as a DBA?
Yes, you can use your personal name as a DBA, but you still need to register it with your local parish clerk of court in Louisiana.
Can I change my DBA name after registering it in Louisiana?
Yes, you can change your DBA name, but you will need to register the new name with your parish clerk of court in Louisiana.
Do I need a separate EIN for my DBA?
No, you do not need a separate EIN for your DBA. You can use your existing EIN that you use for your business.
How do I check if my DBA name is available in Louisiana?
You can check whether your DBA name is available by searching Louisiana Secretary of State’s website online.
How long is my DBA name valid for?
Your DBA name registration is typically valid for five years in Louisiana. After that, you will need to renew it.
What happens if I fail to renew my DBA?
If you fail to renew your DBA name registration after five years, you may lose your legal right to use the DBA name in Louisiana.
Can I register a DBA name online in Louisiana?
Yes, some parishes may offer online registration for DBA.
Can I operate in other states with a Louisiana DBA?
Yes, in most cases you can operate with your Louisiana DBA name in other states, but it is best to check with each state individually.
Can I register multiple DBA names for my business in Louisiana?
Yes, you can register multiple DBA names for your business if you want to do business under different names.
Do I need a business license to register a DBA in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, some parishes may require a business license to be obtained prior to registering a DBA, so check with the parish in which you are submitting registration.
Can I register a DBA name for my nonprofit organization in Louisiana?
Yes, nonprofits can register a DBA name in Louisiana if they are doing business under a different name than their formal name as a nonprofit.
Can I cancel my DBA registration in Louisiana?
Yes, if you stop conducting business under the DBA name, you can cancel your DBA registration by filing a Certificate of Cancellation with your local parish clerk of court.
Can a foreign entity register a DBA name in Louisiana?
Yes, a foreign entity can register a DBA name to conduct business in Louisiana if it meets certain requirements.
What information do I need to provide when registering a DBA in Louisiana?
You will need to provide your proposed DBA name, the location of your business, a description of your business, and the type of business that you are operating when registering for a DBA.
Do I need to publish my DBA name in Louisiana?
Some parishes of Louisiana have a requirement to publish your DBA in the local newspapers.
Can I transfer my DBA registration to another day if I change my address?
Yes, you can transfer your DBA registration to another day if you change your address by filing with your parish’s clerk of court where the business is registered.
How frequently do I need to renew my DBA name registration?
In Louisiana you’re required to registered your DBA every 5 years.
What types of businesses often use a DBA name in Louisiana?
Some businesses that often use a DBA name in Louisiana are contractors, sole proprietorship, construction firms.
Can I use a business name already registered by another business by filing a DBA?
No, your DBA name cannot be identical to a business name that is currently in use and has filed or reserved as a unique entity filing to protect their trademark.
Can I register a DBA name instantly?
no, we don’t have an instant DBA registration process found in the state of Louisiana.
Can businesses with a DBA name get listed in the online Louisiana business directory?
Yes, businesses that operate with a DBA name in Louisiana can get listed on the online Louisiana business directory.
Can I file for a DBA renewal even if my business has a pending lawsuit status in Louisiana?
Regardless of the status of your business – whether it’s an LLC, sole proprietorship, or otherwise – you can renew your trade name in Louisiana. The lawsuit may impact whether you need counsel to approve the application.
Do I also need to register my DBA name with the state of Louisiana?
No, DBA registration is handled at the parish or county level within Louisiana and not required to register with Lousiana’s business district.

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Conclusion

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