In Wyoming, a business operating under a fictitious name may want to register a DBA. Learn more about what a DBA is, who needs one, and how to register.
Related: How to start a business in Wyoming
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.
Who needs to register?
It is optional to register a Trade Name in Wyoming. Even though it is optional, it is often necessary as many banks won’t open a business checking account without one. Additionally, many vendors or suppliers will request one to prove the existence of the business. The need to register is organized under Wyoming statutes 40-2-101 – 109.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA.
The legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering. For example, if John Smith starts a business repairing computers operating under John Smith, he doesn’t need to register. If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair or even John Smith’s Computer Repair, he will need to register.
Corporations and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process. Some will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without having to form another entity.
Wyoming DBA Registration Form
The Trade Name Form is available from the Wyoming Secretary of State – https://soswy.state.wy.us/Forms/Business/TN/TN-RegistrationApplication.pdf.
How much does a DBA cost in Wyoming?
The filing fee to register a Trade Name in Wyoming is $100, payable to the Secretary of State. Registration is good for 10 years and is renewable.
Steps to file a DBA in Wyoming?
Step 1 – Verify Name Availability
A business may not register a name that is the same or similar to another business in Wyoming.
Names can be searched on the Secretary of State’s website. Learn how to do a business name search in Wyoming.
Step 2 – Fill out the Form
Information requested on the form includes:
- Trade Name to be registered
- Name of the applicant
- Business address
- Mailing address
- Type of business entity
- What the business does
- Date the name was first in use. The name has to be used in commerce before applying for a Trade Name.
Step 3 – Notarize the Form
Before signing the form, be sure to have a notary to 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 form to:
Wyoming Secretary of State
2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 700
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
DBAs can’t be registered using words that are related to banking or insurance unless the business is licensed to provide those services.
Protecting your Business Name
While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Wyoming, it does very little from someone else operating a business under that name in other states. If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark. See how to protect your name through a trademark.
Does a DBA need an 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 proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.
Related: How to register for an EIN in Wyoming.
If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Wyoming Secretary of State at 307-777-7311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.