How to File a DBA in South Carolina
In South Carolina, a business operating under a fictitious business name may want to register a DBA. Learn more about what a DBA is, who needs one, and how to register.
What is a DBA?
A DBA, also known as “Doing Business As,” Trade Name, Assumed Name, or Fictitious Name, is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the business.
What is a DBA good for?
While a DBA isn’t required in South Carolina, it provides benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a business bank account, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.
Who needs to register for a South Carolina DBA?
In South Carolina, it is optional to register for a DBA, however, many banks won’t open a business account without one.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA as they won’t often use the full first and last name of the owner. Occasionally though, a business entity such as a corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) will want to register one if they want to have a second business under their “corporate umbrella.”
What are the steps to file a DBA in South Carolina?
Step 1: Obtain an Assumed Name Form
Unlike many states, DBAs are not registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Instead, they are registered in the county where the business is located. The form to register for a Certificate of Assumed Name is available from the County Clerk’s office. Many offices have their form online, but some are only available from the Clerk’s office.
Step 2: Fill out the Form
The form is pretty easy to fill out. Some information that is requested includes;
– Fictitious name being requested
– Name and addresses of the owners
Step 3: Notarize the Form
Before signing the form, be sure to have a notary witness the signing of the documents. Most County Clerk’s offices offer notary services at no cost.
Step 4: Submit the Form
Submit the filing fee and completed form to the County Clerk.
How much does a DBA cost in South Carolina?
The cost to file a DBA in South Carolina will vary by county, but tend to be around $10-$20.
Can you have multiple DBA under one EIN?
An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.
Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no limit to the number of DBAs under one EIN.
How can I keep someone from using my business name?
While the Assumed Name registration won’t stop anyone else from registering the exact same name, a federal trademark can.
Learn more about trademarking a business name.