How to Register an Arkansas DBA

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Quick Reference

In Arkansas, 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 Arkansas

What is a DBA?

A DBA, also known as “Doing Business As,” Trade Name, or Fictitious Name, is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the 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 for an Arkansas DBA?

Any business operating in the state of Arkansas under a name that is different than their legal name needs to register for a Doing Business As Certificate. 

How much does a DBA cost in Arkansas?

The DBA registration is a one-time fee that varies between $15 and $25 for most businesses. 

What are the steps to file a DBA in Arkansas?

Registering a fictitious name varies depending on the type of business entity. 

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entity to register a DBA.  The legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which doesn’t need to be registered.  That works for many self-employed business owners, however many businesses want to operate under a distinct and brandable business name.

Step 1 – Obtain the DBA form.  To register, the Doing Business As form will be filled out in the County Clerk’s office in the county where the business operates.  This form can often be found on the County Clerk’s website.  Click for contact information for County Clerks

Step 2 – Search Available DBA Names – Each assumed name must be unique, and no other business can be using a similar name.  Before filing the form, you will need to check the “Corporation Book” at the County Clerk (some have the ability to search online) to make sure there isn’t another business that is registered under the name you want to register. 

Step 3 – Fill out the Form – Common questions on the form include the fictitious name of the business, business address, and names of the business owners.

Step 4 – Notarize the Form – Prior to filing, the form will need to be notarized.

Save Time & Hassles

LegalZoom offers an inexpensive online DBA registration service that lets you register a business name in just one easy step.

Learn more

 

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 forming another entity.

Corporations will file on the Secretary of State’s website or by mailing a paper copy of the form.  If mailing in the form, it will have to be notarized.

If sending by mail, the address is:
Business/Commercial Services Division
1401 West Capitol, Suite, 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

Name Restrictions

Unless licensed in Arkansas, a fictitious name can’t include the words “Bank,” “Banker,” “Banking,” “Credit Union,” “Insurance,” “Savings,” or “Trust.”

Arkansas DBA Registration Form

Sole Proprietors and General Partnerships – Obtain from the County Clerk’s office

Domestic Corporation and LLC (Form DN-18) – PDF Online
Foreign Corporation and LLC (Form F-18) – PDF Online

To get an online copy of the DBA filing form, as well as instructions for filing, go to https://www.ark.org/sos/ofs/docs/index.php

Can someone steal my business name?

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

Related: What is the difference between a trademark, copyright, and patent?

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 Arkansas

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