How to Register an Assumed Business Name (DBA) in Idaho
In Idaho, a business operating under a fictitious business name will need to register for an Assumed Business Name. Learn more about what an Assumed Name is, who needs one and how to register.
What is an Assumed Name?
An Assumed Business Name (ABN), also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Trade 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 Idaho, like most states, requires the company to register its business name. The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.
Related: How to start a business in Idaho
What is an Assumed Name good for?
An Assumed Name is required for Idaho 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, an Assumed Name 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.
Who needs to register for an Idaho Assumed Name?
The requirements and need to register for an Assumed Name vary depending on the type of business entity.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA.
A sole proprietor or partnership’s legal name can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering in Idaho. For example, if John Smith starts a small business repairing computers 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 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 Idaho?
The cost to register for an Idaho Certificate of Assumed Business Name is $25.
What are the steps to file an Assumed Business Name in Idaho?
Step 1: Check Available Names
In Idaho, Assumed Names are registered by the Idaho Secretary of State, Commercial Division. In order to register a name, the name must be unique and not similar to other registered names in the state.
Learn how to do an Idaho business search on the Secretary of State’s name database.
Step 2: Fill out the Certificate of Assumed Business Name Form
The form to register for the Certificate of Assumed Business Name is available from the Secretary of State’s website – https://sosbiz.idaho.gov/auth?from=/forms/new/287. The link takes you to the Secretary of State’s website, and you have to register for an account before filling out the form.
A physical form is also available and can be picked up at the Secretary of State’s office, Department of Commerce, and many banks and law offices.
The form should only take a few minutes to fill out. Information needed on the form includes:
– Type of business
– Proposed name
– Name & address of owners
Step 3: Submit the Form
Submit the form along with the filing fee.
Something to note is that ABN filings are a public record and searchable on the Secretary of State’s website. This can be concerning for some people who may be starting their business on the side and not want their employer to know.
If you have questions about the process, contact the:
Idaho Secretary of State’s Office – Commercial Division
450 N. 4th Street
Boise, ID 83702
How long does it take to get an Assumed Name?
The normal turnaround for the Idaho Secretary of State to process Assumed Name forms is between 3-7 business days.
Are there any naming restrictions when filing an Idaho DBA?
An Assumed Name can’t use a business entity suffix (such as “corporation,” “Corp,” “incorporated,” “Inc.,” “LLC,” or “Limited Liability Company” can’t be used) that is different from the type of entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.
Assumed Names can’t be registered using words that are related to financial institutions (such as banker, savings bank, savings and loan association, credit union, etc.) or engineering unless the business is licensed to provide those services.
Can someone use my business name after registering an Idaho DBA?
While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Idaho, 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 a DBA need an EIN?
An EIN or Employer Identification Number (also informally called a business 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 Idaho