How to File a DBA in Louisiana
In Louisiana, a business operating under a fictitious name will need 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 Louisiana
What is a DBA?
A DBA, also known as “Doing Business As,” “Trade Name,” “Assumed Name,” or “Fictitious Business Name,” is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the business. This name is officially referred to as a Trade Name in Louisiana.
When a business wants to operate under a name other than its legal name, the state of Louisiana, like most states, requires the business to register its business name. The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.
What is a DBA good for?
A DBA is required for Louisiana businesses that want to operate under a name that is different from the legal name of the owners or entity. The DBA registration provides information on the people operating a business, so if there is an issue, the owners of a business can be tracked down.
In addition to the legal requirement, a DBA offers other 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 Louisiana DBA?
The requirements and need to register for a Trade Name vary depending on the type of business entity.
Sole proprietorships 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 but doesn’t use a business name, he doesn’t have to register. If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair, he will need to register.
Partnerships, Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies – Partnerships, corporations, and LLCs won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process. Some corporations and LLCs will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate or LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without forming another entity.
How much does it cost to register a DBA in Louisiana?
The filing fee to register an Assumed Name for a Sole Proprietorship in Louisiana varies by parish, but is typically around $50.
The cost to reserve a business name for a partnership, corporation, or LLC is $75.
What are the steps to file a DBA in Louisiana?
Step 1: Obtain the Form
Sole proprietorships will obtain a name registration form from the Parish Clerk of Court in the Parish, where the primary office of the business is located.
Step 2: Fill out the Form
Every Parish is different, but they typically request the name and address of the owner and the new name of the Louisiana business.
Step 3: Submit the Form
Submit the form back to the Parish Clerk of Court’s office, and a name certificate will be provided.
General Partnerships, Corporations & LLCs
Step 1: Verify Name Availability
Every name registration must be unique and not too similar to other names on record. Before filling out the form, check the Secretary of State’s name database to see if the name you want is available.
Learn how to search for business names in Louisiana.
Step 2: Fill out the Form
Obtain the form from the Louisiana Secretary of State and fill out the Application to Register Trade Name, Trademark, or Service Mark. Corporations and LLCs can file online through the Secretary of State’s Geauxbiz website or by mailing in the Trade Name reservation form.
Step 3: Submit the Form
Either submit the payment and form online or mail it to the Secretary of State.
If mailing send to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
If you have questions about the process of registering for a Trade Name, contact the Louisiana Secretary of State at 225-925-4704.
Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Louisiana DBA?
DBAs can’t be registered using words related to financial institutions (such as banking, banker, credit union, etc.), insurance, surveyor, or cooperatives unless the business is licensed to provide those services.
Assumed names can’t use a business entity suffix such as Incorporation, Corp, Limited Liability Company, LLC, etc.
Last, fictitious names may not reference a municipal body or public facility without the consent of the relevant governing entity.
Can someone use my business name after registering a Louisiana DBA?
While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Louisiana, it does very little to stop someone else from 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 federal trademark through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Learn more about trademarking a business name.
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.