Our work is reader-supported, meaning that we may earn a commission from the products and services mentioned.

How to File a West Virginia DBA [2022]

How to File a West Virginia DBA

In West Virginia, 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 West Virginia

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 West Virginia.

When a business wants to operate under a name other than its legal name, the state of West Virginia, 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 for a DBA in West Virginia?

The requirements and need to register a Trades Name are organized under West Virginia Statutes §47-8-2.  These 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 Kyle Reese starts a business repairing electronics operating under the name Kyle Reese, he doesn’t need to register for a Trade Name in West Virginia.  If Kyle decides to name his business Kyle’s Electronics Repair or even Kyle Reese’s Electronics 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.

Related: What business licenses are needed in West Virginia?

What is a Trade Name good for?

The main reason someone would register for a West Virginia Trade Name is that it’s required for many businesses to legally operate in the state.  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.

West Virginia Trade Name Registration Form

The form needed to register for a Trade Name will vary depending on the business entity.

Names can also be registered online through the One Stop Business Portal.

How much does a DBA cost in West Virginia?

Sole Proprietorships & Partnerships – $0

Corporations & LLCs
– Standard processing (5-10 business days) – $25
– 24-hour processing – $50
– 2-hour processing – $275
– 1-hour processing – $525

How long does it take to process the West Virginia Trade Name application?

Normal processing is 5-10 business days, but expedited processing is available for an additional fee.

What are the Steps to file a DBA in West Virginia?

Sole Proprietorships & Partnerships

Step 1: Register with the West Virginia State Tax Department

The West Virginia Secretary of State won’t process the Trade Name (DBA) Registration application until the business has registered with the West Virginia State Tax Department.

Step 2: Verify Name Availability

An individual, sole proprietorship, or general partnership may not register a name that is the same or similar to another name registered with the West Virginia State Tax Department.  To check on available names, contact:

West Virginia State Tax Department
1124 Smith Street
Charleston, WV 25301
800-982-8297

Step 3: Fill out the Trade Name (DBA) Registration – Form TN-1

Information requested on Form TN-1 includes:

  • Fictitious name being registered
  • Name and address of the owner(s)
  • Contact name, phone number, and email
  • Signature of applicant

Step 4: Submit the Paperwork

Submit the filing fee and application to one of the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Business Service Centers:

Charleston – 1615 Washington Street East Charleston, WV 25311
Clarksburg – 200 West Main Street Clarksburg, WV 26301
Martinsburg – 229 E. Martin Street Martinsburg, WV 25401

If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Secretary of State at 866-767-8683 or business@wvsos.gov

Corporations & Limited Liability Companies

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

A business may not register a name that is the same or similar to another business in West Virginia.

Names can be searched on the Secretary of State’s website.  Learn how to do a business name search in West Virginia.

Step 2: Fill out the Form
Information requested on the form includes:

  • Current legal name of the business
  • Trade Name being applied for
  • Address of the principal office
  • Name, phone number, title, and signature of the applicant

Step 3: Submit the Form

Submit the filing fee and form by mail to one of the West Virginia Secretary of State Business Service Centers:

Charleston – 1615 Washington Street East Charleston, WV 25311
Clarksburg – 200 West Main Street Clarksburg, WV 26301
Martinsburg – 229 E. Martin Street Martinsburg, WV 25401

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.

Name Restrictions

Trade Names can’t be registered using words that are related to banking or engineering unless the business is licensed to provide those services.

Does West Virginia require a DBA?

A DBA is required for any business operating in West Virginia under a name that is different than the legal name of the business.

After registering the Trade Name, can someone steal my business name?

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in West Virginia, 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.

Related: How to trademark 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 Service (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 West Virginia.