How to File a Fictitious Firm Name (DBA) in Nevada
In Nevada, a business operating under a fictitious name will need to register for a Fictitious Firm Name. Learn more about what a Fictitious Firm Name is, who needs one and how to register.
What is a Fictitious Firm Name?
A Fictitious Firm Name (FFN), often known as a DBA or “Doing Business As,” “Trade Name,” or “Assumed 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 Fictitious Firm Name (FFN) in Nevada.
When a business wants to operate under a name other than its legal name, the state of Nevada, 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.
Who needs to register a Fictitious Firm Name?
Any person operating a business in Nevada with a name that is different from the legal name of the owners or is different from the legal name of a business registered with the Secretary of State (Corporation or LLC), the business has to file with the County Clerk of each county in which business is being conducted. The requirements and need to register for a Fictitious 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 Nevada 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.
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 Nevada Fictitious Firm Name 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.
What is a Fictitious Firm Name good for?
Under Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 602 A Fictitious Firm Name Statement is required for Nevada 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.
How much does it cost to register a Nevada Fictitious Firm Name?
The filing fee to register a Fictitious Firm Name in Nevada is $20.
Fictitious Names need to be renewed every five years.
What are the steps to file a DBA in Nevada?
Step 1: Verify Name Availability
Every business in the county where the business is located must have a unique name.
A county records search will need to be done before filing and most counties have an online name search database.
For a complete list of contact information for county offices, visit the Nevada Secretary of State’s website.
Step 2: Obtain the Fictitious Firm Name Form
An FFN form will need to be obtained from every county in Nevada where business is conducted. If physically operating in multiple counties, note that each county’s form is different and will have to be picked up individually.
Step 3: Fill out the Form
The FFN form is available from the County Clerk’s office. Many Clerks have the forms online, and/or they are available to pick up from their office.
Information requested on the Fictitious Firm Name form typically includes:
– The fictitious name being requested
– Legal name of each person
Mailing address of the business
– Owner’s name
Step 4: Notarize the Form
Before filing the Fictitious Firm Name form, be sure to have the form notarized. Counties typically have notary public services available at no cost or with a minimal fee.
Step 5: Submit the Form
Submit the filing fee and form to the County Clerk. A Fictitious Firm Name Certificate will be provided by the Clerk.
Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Nevada DBA?
A Fictitious Firm Name can’t use 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.
DBAs also can’t be registered using words that are related to several types of businesses unless they are licensed by the state to provide these services. A few include:
– Banking – words such as bank, savings & loan, thrift, trustee, credit union, debt collection, etc., unless approved by the Nevada Commissioner of Financial Institutions
– Insurance – words such as adjuster, underwriter, annuity, bail, surety, bail bonds, fugitive recovery, etc., unless approved by the State Commissioner of Insurance
– Lending – words such as financial, mortgage, and mortgage banking, unless approved by the Nevada Commissioner of Mortage Lending.
– Engineering – words such as engineer, engineering, etc., unless approved by the State Board of Professional Engineers
– Accounting – words such as auditor, auditing, accountant, CPA, etc,. unless approved by the Nevada State Board of Accounting.
– Architecture – words such as interior design, architect, residential design, etc., unless approved by the State Board of Architecture.
Can someone steal my business name after registering a Fictitious Firm Name?
While registering your FFN will keep someone else from registering the exact name in Nevada, 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 an FFN need an EIN?
An EIN or Employer Identification Number (often informally referred to as a tax ID 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 Nevada