When you go into business for yourself, you may want to do so without operating under your real name. If so, you will need a Doing Business As Name, also called a fictitious or assumed business name. While you may think this will have little impact on your business, you are wrong. In fact, here are the top reasons you’ll need this moving forward.
If you’re a sole proprietor and conduct business under a name that is different than your real name, you will be required to have a Doing Business As Name. This is because your business will be unincorporated, meaning you did not file papers with your state to make your business a legal entity. However, don’t confuse this with business licenses and permits because you will still be required to obtain any of these that are required by your locality to operate your business.
Business Bank Account
Perhaps the most important reason for filing a DBA name is that most banks require this for businesses that are operated as sole proprietorships or partnerships. A business bank account will be important because it not only gives your business an added sense of professionalism but it also lets you keep your personal and business finances separate from one another. Come tax time, and this can be extremely important to help you avoid making costly mistakes.
You Don’t Want to Use Your Name
While many people are perfectly comfortable operating a business under their real name, you may be someone who desires more privacy. If so, having a fictitious business name will give you both privacy and peace of mind. This can also be important to you in that whenever your business is mentioned in the media or elsewhere, and your personal name will not be a matter of public record.
Gives Your Business a Distinctive Name
Although you know there’s nothing wrong with your personal name, you also know you want your business to have a name that is creative, distinctive, and will instantly be remembered by your current and potential customers. Using a Doing Business As Name can give you the flexibility needed to come up with a name that will be a perfect description of your products and services.
Makes Your Business Compliant
If you decide to incorporate your business, having a DBA may save you plenty of legal headaches. For example, if your business is an LLC, it will be protected under the law. However, if you incorporate your business under one name but sign a contract under another name, any legal protections you may have had may be gone. Should you have a problem with a customer regarding the terms of a contract, you may find yourself on the losing end in a courtroom.
Operating Multiple Businesses
Another great advantage you will notice once you file a DBA has the ability to operate multiple businesses under that one name. If you don’t have a DBA, you would then be required to form a separate corporation for each business, which would be costly, time-consuming, and set the stage for confusion in a variety of areas. Ultimately, having a DBA will make multiple operating businesses much more efficient since it will help you eliminate paperwork and reduce expenses.
It’s Easy to Do
As a sole proprietor, filing a DBA is the easiest and least expensive method available to let you have a separate name for your business. Using a DBA, you can create a separate identity for your new business rather than spending time and money filling out one form after another to form an LLC or corporation.
Opens You Up to New Markets
Finally, a DBA will allow your business to venture into new markets and capture new customers. If your business relies on online sales, this can be a difference maker. Rather than trying to make an all-encompassing website, you can instead create websites for different products and services, helping you stand out from the competition.
Now that you know the many benefits of having a DBA, it makes sense to file for one as soon as possible.