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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.

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.   This name is often referred to as a Trade Name in Louisiana.

When a business wants to operate under a name other than their legal name, the state of Louisiana, like most states, require the business to register their business name.  The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.

Who needs to register?

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 then 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/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without having to form another entity.

Louisiana DBA Registration Form

Sole proprietorships will obtain a name registration form from the Parish Clerk of Court in the Parish where primary office of the business is located.

Corporations and LLCs can file online or by mailing in the Trade Name reservation form.

How much does it cost to register?

The filing fee to register an Assumed Name for a Sole Proprietorship in Louisiana varies by county 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?

Sole Proprietorship

Step 1 – Obtain the Form

Most Parish Clerk of Court’s offices provide the Registration of Assumed Business Name on their website, but they are also available in the office.

Step 2 – Fill out the Form

Every Parish is different, but they typically request the name and address of the owner, along with the new name of the business.

Step 3 – Submit the Form

Submit the form and a name certificate will be provided.  

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, Secretary of State’s name database to see if the name you want is available. 

 Learn how to search business names in Louisiana.

 Step 2 – Fill out the Form

Obtain the form from the Secretary of State and fill it out.

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
Commercial Division
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Name Restrictions

DBAs can’t be registered using words that are related to banks, insurance, or cooperatives, unless the business is licensed to provide those services.  

Assumed names can’t use entity designators such as Incorporation, Corp, Limited Liability Company, LLC, etc.

Last, fictitious names may not have any reference to a municipal body or public facility without consent of the relevant governing entity.

Protecting your business name

Registering an Assumed Name for a Sole Proprietorship provides no protection from others using the name.  Partnerships, Corporations and LLCs have a little protection as no other Partnership, Corporation or LLC can register that name.  While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Louisiana, 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 – Learn how to protect your name through a trademark.  

Questions?

If you have questions about the process, contact the Secretary of State at 225-925-4704.

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