In Utah, any 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 Utah
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.
When a business wants to operate under a name other than its legal name, the state of Utah, like most states, requires 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.
What is a DBA good for?
A DBA is required for many businesses in order to legally operate and provides information on the people operating a business. In addition to the legal requirement, a DBA offers other benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a bank account under a business name, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.
Who needs to register?
The requirements and need to register an Assumed Business Name are organized under Utah Statutes UT Code § 42-2-5. Naming requirements 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 operating under John Smith, he doesn’t need 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 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 a DBA cost in Utah?
The filing fee to register a DBA in Utah is $22. This registration is good for 3 years and can be renewed.
What are the steps to file a DBA in Utah?
Step 1 – Verify Name Availability
A business may not register a name that is the same or similar to another business in Utah.
Names can be searched on the Utah Department of Commerce website. Learn how to do a business name search in Utah.
Step 2 – Fill out the DBA Registration Form
Forms for registering are available both online and to download from the Utah Department of Commerce – https://corporations.utah.gov/business/dba.html
Information requested on the form includes:
- Requested business name
- Business purpose
- Business Address
- Name and address of Registered Agent (if applicable)
- Owner’s name and address
Step 3 – Submit the Form
Submit the form and filing fee to the Utah Department of Commerce. If mailing, send the form to:
Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
PO Box 146705
Salt Lake City, UT 84116-6705
Are there any words you can’t use in a DBA?
DBAs can’t be registered using words related to Olympic, university, college, or any word that implies the business is a state run agency or department. Names may also not use the terms incorporated, inc, or any similar variation. Last, names have to be written in English.
Can someone steal my business name?
While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Utah, 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 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.
Related: How to register for an EIN in.
If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Department of Commerce at 877-526-3994 or firstname.lastname@example.org