Arkansas DBA Registration
Not sure what a DBA is or why your business may need one? Read more to find out!
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.
Who needs to register?
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 it cost to register?
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.
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.
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
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
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
Protecting your business name
While registering your Business 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 anyone from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark – See how to protect your name through a trademark.