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How to File a Trade Name (DBA) in Nebraska [2022]

How to File a Trade Name (DBA) in Nebraska

In Nebraska, a business operating under a fictitious name can register a Trade Name.  Learn more about what a Trade Name is, who needs one and how to register.

What is a Trade Name?

A Trade Name, commonly known as a DBA or “Doing Business As,” “Assumed Name,” or “Fictitious Business Name,” is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the business.

Who needs to register for a Trade Name?

Registering a Trade Name in Nebraska is voluntary but may be beneficial for a business to file.

The requirements for and need to register for a Trade Name vary, depending on the type of business entity.

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 in Nebraska 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 may want to register.

Reasons a sole proprietorship or partnership will want to register:

  • Proves the business exists.
  • Banks, merchant processors, and vendors may require one to open a business bank account or to get a loan.
  • It puts other businesses on notice that your name is registered.
  • No other business in Nebraska can register the same name as one that is registered.

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.

How much does it cost to register a Trade Name in Nebraska?

The Nebraska Trade Name registration state filing fee is $100.

Renewals for a Trade Name are required every ten years after the registration date.

What are the steps to file a DBA in Nebraska?

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

Trade Names have to be unique or are not too similar to other names registered with the Secretary of State.

Learn how to do a Nebraska Trade Name search.

Step 2: Fill out the Form

The Trade Name application is available as a Printable Form and
Online Form.

Information requested on the form includes:
– Trade name being requested
– Address of the applicant
– Type of business entity
– Date the name was first used
– General nature of the business (What the business does)
– Signature

Step 3: Submit the Form

Submit the filing fee and form.  If mailing, send to:

Secretary of State’s Office
Business Services Division
P.O. Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509

Step 4: Publish the Legal Notice

After filing the completed form, there are also publication requirements to complete the registration.

A legal notice stating the trade name was published must be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or village where the business is located.  If the business is not located within a city or village, a newspaper with county circulation may be used.

Step 5: File the Affidavit

After the legal notice runs, the newspaper will provide an affidavit that must be filed by the applicant with the Secretary of State’s office within 45 days of filing the Trade Name. 

If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Nebraska Secretary of State at 402-471-4079.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Swyft Filings, MyCompanyWorks, and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Nebraska DBA?

A Trade Name can’t be registered if it:
– Uses immoral, deceptive, or scandalous wording.
– Contains wording that suggests a connection with people, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.
– Simulates the flag, coat of arms, or any insignia of the United States, municipality, or foreign nation.
– Is geographically misleading.
– Could cause confusion because it is too similar to another business name.
– Uses a business entity suffix that is different from the type of entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.
– A name can’t be used if it includes the word “geologist” or anything similar unless approved by the Nebraska Board of Geologists.
– Any terms that infer the business is a financial institution, such as bank, banker, banc, savings, credit union, trust company, etc., can’t be used.

Can someone use my business name after registering a Trade Name?

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Nebraska, 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 Nebraska require DBA to be registered?

It is not mandatory to register a DBA in Nebraska; however, there are many cases where it is beneficial.

Does Nebraska require a business license?

The Trade Name registration isn’t a business license, so there may be additional requirements you have to complete before starting your business.

Most businesses will need some sort of license, but every business will have different requirements. Check out what business licenses and permits are needed in Nebraska.