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

LLCBase is your go-to place for everything about LLCs, and it's led by Brian Cohan, who's an expert in the field. Brian and our team are here to give you clear and helpful advice on how to set up and manage an LLC. We've been through the process and know the ins and outs. Our articles and guides are based on real experiences, making them practical for you. We're committed to helping you make smart choices for your business. With LLCBase, you're in good hands as you navigate the world of LLCs.

How to Get a DBA Name in Washington

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

Washington, also known as The Evergreen 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 Washington.

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 Washington

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 Certificate of Formation 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 Washington 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 Washington under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must file a DBA name with Washington 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.

LLC Services

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Editor's Choice

$0 + State Filing Fee

  • Free LLC Formation

  • Various Legal Services

  • Attorney Advice

$299 + State Filing Fee

  • Single Package

  • Flat Pricing

  • Legal Services

How to Obtain a DBA Name in Washington

Want to obtain a DBA name in Washington? 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 Washington, ensuring that no other business is already using your chosen name is crucial. To confirm name availability in Washington, search the Washington Secretary of State Corporations and Charities Filing System database provided by the Washington Secretary of State. This step is important to avoid potential legal issues and confusion for customers.

Recommended: Searching for the perfect DBA name for your LLC? Look no further! Choose an LLC service and let them handle the name search effortlessly. Kickstart your business journey its first-rate assistance! We recommend –

Our #1 Pick: LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

Step 2: Choose a DBA Name

In Washington, 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 Washington 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 Washington DBA Name

Once you have determined that the name is available for registration, complete the required forms provided by your county or the Washington Secretary of State. You must register your DBA name in the county where you intend to conduct business. In most Washington 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.

Searching for the best LLC services in Washington to help you snag your dream DBA name? Look no further! We’ve rounded up the best options for you, making it a snap to find the ideal match for your unique business needs.

Recommended: Ready to register a dazzling Washington DBA name for your LLC? Hire a trusted LLC service, and let them make the process a breeze! Embark on your successful business journey with the perfect name, all thanks to their expertise! We recommend –

Our #1 Pick: LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

Step 4: Submit the Application

To file the Washington DBA Name, you must apply to the Washington Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. In Washington, 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 Washington is $24. 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 Washington State Business Licensing Service website
  • Offline: For filing offline in Washington, you must send the accomplished DBA filing form to the Washington Secretary of State, Corporations Division, P.O. Box 40234, Olympia, WA 98504-0234 or drop it off in person at 801 Capitol Way South, Olympia, WA 98501.

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

Recommended: Overwhelmed by the intricate process of obtaining a DBA name? Worry no more! Hire an LLC service to guide you through the journey smoothly and put your mind at ease with 100% confidence. We recommend –

Our #1 Pick: LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

DBA Name in Washington: A Detailed Guide

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

Renewing a DBA Name in Washington

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 Washington DBA to ensure continued compliance with state regulations.

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

Recommended: Time for Washington DBA name change or renewal? We recommend that you hire a reliable LLC service and watch the transformation unfold! We recommend –

Our #1 Pick: LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

Changing a DBA Name in Washington

If you need to change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name), apply to the Washington 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 Washington, 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 Washington Government Records Inquiry System or the Washington Secretary of State Corporations and Charities Filing System database provided by the Washington Secretary of State to confirm business name availability in Washington.
  2. Complete the change application: Obtain the trade name change application from the Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington 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 name, which stands for “doing business as,” is a name under which a business operates that is different from the legal name of the business.
Do I need to file for a DBA name in Washington?
You need to file for a DBA name in Washington if you operate a business under a name that is different from your legal name.
How do I know if the DBA name I want is available in Washington?
You can perform a name search through the Washington Secretary of State website to see if the DBA name you want is available.
How often do I need to renew my DBA name in Washington?
You need to renew your DBA name in Washington every five years.
Is there a fee to register a DBA name in Washington?
Yes, there is a fee to register a DBA name in Washington, and it varies depending on your county.
Can I register for a DBA name online in Washington?
Yes, you can register for a DBA name online in Washington through the Washington Secretary of State website.
Do I need to register for a DBA name if I am operating as a sole proprietor in Washington?
If you are operating as a sole proprietor in Washington, you are not required to register for a DBA name, but it is recommended.
How long does it take to approve a DBA name registration in Washington?
The approval process for a DBA name registration in Washington may vary depending on the county.
What types of businesses need to register for a DBA name in Washington?
Any business that operates under a name different from its legal name needs to register for a DBA name in Washington.
Can I use the word “corporation” in my DBA name in Washington?
No, you cannot use the word “corporation” in your DBA name in Washington unless your business is a corporation.
Can I change my DBA name in Washington?
Yes, you can change your DBA name in Washington by submitting a new registration form and paying the associated fees.
Can multiple businesses use the same DBA name in Washington?
No, multiple businesses cannot use the same DBA name in Washington.
What happens if I don’t register for a DBA name in Washington?
If you operate under a name different from your legal name without registering for a DBA name in Washington, you may face fines or other legal consequences.
Can I trademark my DBA name in Washington?
Yes, you can trademark your DBA name in Washington if it meets the criteria for trademark protection.
Is there a separate tax ID number for my DBA name in Washington?
No, there is not a separate tax ID number for a DBA name in Washington.
Can I have multiple DBA names under one business entity?
Yes, a business entity can have multiple DBA names in Washington.
What if my business operates across multiple counties in Washington?
You will need to register for a DBA name in each county where your business operates.
Does registering for a DBA name protect my business name in Washington?
Registering for a DBA name in Washington does not offer protection for your business name.
Can I use my DBA name to open a bank account in Washington?
Yes, you can use your DBA name to open a bank account in Washington.
How can I make sure my DBA name is not too similar to another registered business?
You can perform additional research and consult with a legal professional to ensure that your DBA name is unique and does not infringe on other registered business names.
Do I need to apply for a business license before or after registering for a DBA name in Washington?
You will typically need to apply for a business license before registering for a DBA name in Washington.
Can I operate online under my DBA name in Washington?
Yes, you can operate online under your DBA name in Washington.
Can I use a PO Box as my business address when registering for a DBA name in Washington?
No, you cannot use a PO Box as your business address when registering for a DBA name in Washington.
Can I use my personal name as my DBA name in Washington?
Yes, you can use your personal name as your DBA name in Washington, as long as you register for it.
Do foreign entities need to register for a DBA name when doing business in Washington?
Yes, foreign entities that do business in Washington under a name different from their legal name will need to register for a DBA name.
Can I use my DBA name for different types of businesses in Washington?
Yes, you can use your DBA name for different types of businesses in Washington, as long as they fall under the same business entity.
Can I use a DBA name if I am a nonprofit organization in Washington?
Yes, nonprofits can use a DBA name in Washington, but they may need to follow different registration requirements.
Can I use an expired DBA name in Washington?
No, you cannot use an expired DBA name in Washington, as it is no longer legally valid.
What is a DBA name in Washington?
A DBA name in Washington stands for “doing business as” name and is a name that a business uses in place of its legal name.
Who can file for a DBA name in Washington?
Any individual or business entity that intends to do business under a name different from its legal name can file for a DBA name in Washington.
How do I start the process of getting a DBA name in Washington?
To start the process of getting a DBA name in Washington, you need to file a registration form with the Washington Secretary of State.
What kind of information do I need to provide to file for a DBA name in Washington?
You need to provide information such as your legal name, the DBA name you intend to use, your business address, and contact details.
Is there a filing fee to get a DBA name in Washington?
Yes, there is a filing fee of $5 to get a DBA name in Washington.
Can I file for a DBA name online in Washington?
Yes, you can file for a DBA name online through the Washington Secretary of State’s website.
How long does it take to get a DBA name in Washington?
It takes about 1 to 2 business days to process your registration for a DBA name in Washington.
When does my DBA name registration expire in Washington?
Your DBA name registration in Washington expires after 5 years.
Can I renew my DBA name registration in Washington?
Yes, you can renew your DBA name registration in Washington by filing a renewal form with the Secretary of State.
What is the penalty for failing to renew my DBA name registration?
Failing to renew your DBA name registration in Washington can result in a revocation of your DBA name registration or penalties.
Can I change my DBA name in Washington after it is registered?
Yes, you can change your DBA name in Washington after it is registered by filing an amendment form with the Secretary of State.
Is a DBA name registration in Washington required by law?
No, it is not mandated by law to obtain a DBA name in Washington, but it may be advantageous to have one if you wish to do business under a different name.
Can I use my DBA name in Washington for any type of business?
Yes, as long as the name you intend to use is not already registered to a different business in the state of Washington.
Is a DBA name exclusive in Washington?
No, a DBA name does not grant exclusive rights to the name in Washington; it merely allows you to do business under that name.
Do I need a separate tax number for my DBA name business in Washington?
No, if you operate a sole proprietorship, you can use your own Social Security Number for your DBA name. But, if you form a separate entity like a C corporation or LLC, you will need a separate tax id.
Do I need a business license for my DBA name business in Washington?
It depends on the type of business you conduct. Certain types of businesses require a separate license from federal or state agencies.
What happens if another business is already using my DBA name in Washington?
If another business is already using your DBA name in Washington, you will need to choose another name that is not in use by other business.
Do I need a DBA name if I use my own name for my business?
No, if you conduct business using your legal name and do not use another name, a DBA name is not required in Washington.
Can I use a trademarked name for my DBA name in Washington?
It is not recommended, and you should speak with an attorney before using a trademarked name for your DBA.
Can I use an online legal service to file for my DBA name in Washington?
Yes, you can use an online legal service, but make sure it follows state rules and guidelines.
Do I need to publish my DBA name in Washington?
No, Washington state does not make it mandatory to advertise the use your DBA name registration.
Do I need to file my DBA name registration with my local county government in Washington?
No, filing your DBA name registration with the Washington Secretary of State is enough.
Can I put my DBA name on my business checks and contracts in Washington?
Yes, you can list your DBA name on your business checks and contracts as long as it is registered with state authorities.
Can I sell my business contact list after registration under a DBA name in Washington?
No, it is illegal to sell business contact lists in Washington. Selling business contacts is a privacy violation, which can lead to legal issues.
Can I get a DBA name for my LLC in Washington?
Yes, it is possible for an LLC to file a DBA name registration in Washington.
What is the difference between a DBA name and a legal name in Washington?
A legal business name in Washington is the registered name of your business on file with the Secretary of State. A DBA name is a separate name used different from your legal business name for branding or marketing purposes.
Do I need to have a business plan before applying for a DBA name in Washington?
A business plan is not required to obtain a DBA name in Washington.
Can I change my legal business name after filing a DBA name registration in Washington?
Changing the legal name of your business is different from changing your DBA name. If you intent to change the legal business name, you’ll need to file an amendment to become a new business entity ultimately resulting in an new EIN number; However, You can change your DBA name by filing for an amendment to add your new DBA name.

Also Read

Conclusion

Navigating obtaining, renewing, or changing a DBA name in Washington 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.

Leave a Comment