How to Get a DBA Name For an LLC in Alabama – An Easy Guide


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Get a DBA Name in Alabama

Are you looking to establish a business in Alabama and need to get a DBA (Doing Business As) name for your venture? You’re in the right place! A DBA, also known as a Trade Name, Fictitious Name, or Assumed Name, allows you to conduct business under a name that’s different from your legal business name. This can be advantageous for branding, marketing, and overall business operations.

In Alabama, if you’re willing to use a different name other than the legal name for your business, you must file the DBA (Doing Business As). The public (specifically your potential customers) knows your business by its registered legal name. Instead of using your formal business name, you may use the trade name or DBA in marketing and sales to reach a wider audience.

Alabama, popularly known as The Yellowhammer State, has some regulations when it comes to filing your DBA name. However, the regulations can vary depending on the type of business structure you have. In this article, I will share the basic steps to get a DBA Name in Alabama.

What is DBA Name in Alabama?

Whenever you form an LLC or any business structure, you must get a name for it. Every company has a legitimate name. For instance, a partnership or sole proprietorship might function under the legal name of the company’s owner or owners. The name specified in the Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Formation may be used by any business entity, including corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and others.

However, there are situations when you may decide against using your company’s registered legal name in Alabama. This is due to a variety of factors. For instance, the legal name of your company can be unrelated to it or no longer accurately describe it. Or perhaps you want a new name without altering your documentation for incorporation or registration.

If you intend to run your business in Alabama under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must submit a DBA name with Alabama state regardless of the type of business entity you have incorporated as (single proprietor, partnership, corporation, or LLC).

No restrictions exist on how many DBA names you can use to do business. However, each DBA name must be filed with the state where you conduct business. This is necessary because the general public has a legal right to know whether a specific individual or company is operating under a name other than their legal name.

In Alabama, changing your business name is a risky factor. It can bring positive and negative effects on your business. Hence, before you file and change your legal business name, analyze all the risks and advantages.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Get a DBA in Alabama

To get a DBA in Alabama, you must first check if any other business is already using the name before filing a DBA in Alabama. You can then submit the Alabama business name reservation form after it has been confirmed that no other company is already using the chosen name. You can search the Alabama Government Records Inquiry System and confirm that the name you chose is not already in use. However, getting a DBA is not mandatory in many states. If you open an LLC in Alabama, you must check with Alabama Secretary of State whether you need to file DBA or not.

Guideline for choosing a DBA name

You must choose a name to register, which is the crucial step. There are a few straightforward LLC name guidelines to follow (if you’re forming an LLC) while choosing a name in Alabama.

  • In Alabama, fictional names cannot be the same or similar to one another. A DBA cannot deceive the public by appearing to be confusingly similar to any other business name.
  • Unless the company has been incorporated as an LLC or corporation, a DBA name cannot contain a corporate indication, such as Corp or LLC, or any other words that imply an entity type. This will stop a lone proprietor from passing for a legitimate corporation.
  • Any banking-related words without a letter from the Alabama Banking Commissioner’s Office, or any insurance-related words without a letter from the Alabama Alabama Department of Insurance.
  • Any words that could confuse your corporation with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • A professional designation in the name (i.e., engineering, attorney) without a copy of the license of one officer/member or a letter from the governing agency allowing the use of the name without licensing.
  • Any words that indicate or imply that the corporation is engaged in a business that is not authorized by law to pursue.

How Can You Tell if a DBA Name in Alabama is available?

Once you have selected a name that complies with the requirements mentioned above, there are a number of methods you can use to find out if the name is open for registration. One simple strategy is to look up other companies in Alabama with the same name on Google.

It is a simple technique to clear out any already taken names, even though it may not guarantee that the name you want to register is accessible. As it is likely that you will require a website domain that matches your business name, you may also check to see whether the web domain for that name is accessible. For example, you can check Alabama LLC name search guide to see how you can find the availability of your desired LLC name in Alabama.

Before you may register your Trade Name in Alabama, you must have used it for business purposes. Therefore, you must use a Trade Name as soon as possible if you want to register and protect it in Alabama.

Register the Alabama DBA Name

Once you have established that the name is available for registration, you must finish the file using the forms your county has provided. You must register your DBA name in the county where you intend to conduct business. In most Alabama counties, the following fundamental information is needed-

  • Name of the company, its phone number, city, state, and street address
  • The organization type under which the business is incorporated
  • List the partners’ names and addresses (if applicable)
  • Describe the items, services, or business that will be delivered under the Fictitious Name in the registration form
  • Use of the Fictitious Name in the marketplace
  • Both the classification type and number
  • Make a mark (pick Trade Name)
  • Date and state of the first use of the trade name
  • When the Trade Name first appeared in Alabama
  • Application’s name, title, signature, and date Email address

Submitting the Alabama DBA Name Application

To file the Alabama DBA Name, you must apply to the Alabama Secretary of State. In Alabama, you can file the DBA name in three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing.. The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in Alabama is $30.

  • Online filing: For online filing, you need to visit the Alabama Secretary of State website, submit the online form along with the filing fees.
  • Offline filing: For offline filing, download the form and send it to State of Alabama Office of the Secretary of State, Trademarks Division, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103-5616 OR drop off the form in person to State of Alabama Office of the Secretary of State, Trademarks Division, 11 South Union St., Suite 224, Montgomery, AL 36130.

Using the Alabama Trade Name

Three “specimens” demonstrating the Trade Name used must be submitted to Alabama Secretary of State. The following are some instances of acceptable specimens:

  • Business cards
  • Booklets,
  • Flyers,
  • Labels, and
  • Stickers

How to Renew a Trade Name in Alabama

You can renew your DBA name after a stipulated time. In most states, the renewal of the DBA name follows the same process as filing a fresh DBA name. You need to get the DBA renewal form, fill it up with the correct information, and submit it to the state online or offline. The renew time for DBA name filing is five years in Alabama.

How to Change a Trade Name

You can change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name) by applying to the Alabama SOS. The process is similar. You can search for the name you want to have after changing the old Trade Name. If the name is available, make sure it follows other guidelines. You can reserve your DBA name for five years; after then, you can change or renew your DBA if needed through the Alabama SOS.

FAQs

What is a DBA Name in Alabama?
A DBA Name in Alabama is a Doing Business As name. This is also known as a trade name or fictitious business name, and it is used when a company or individual is doing business under a different name than what is listed on their official documents.
How do I register a DBA Name in Alabama?
To register a DBA Name in Alabama, you must first file a trade name registration form with the Probate Judge’s office in the county in which the business is located. The form must include the name of the business, the address of the business, and the name and address of the business owner.
What information do I need to file a DBA Name in Alabama?
To file a DBA Name in Alabama, you will need to provide the name of the business, the address of the business, and the name and address of the business owner.
Is there a fee to file a DBA Name in Alabama?
Yes, there is a fee to file a DBA Name in Alabama. The fee varies by county, so you should contact your local probate judge’s office to find out the exact amount.
How long does it take to file a DBA Name in Alabama?
Typically, it takes about two weeks to register a DBA Name in Alabama.
Do I need to publish a notice of my DBA Name filing in Alabama?
Yes, you must publish a notice of your DBA Name filing in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the business is located. You must also file an affidavit of publication with the probate judge’s office.
What happens if I don’t file a DBA Name in Alabama?
If you don’t file a DBA Name in Alabama, you may be subject to fines and penalties. Additionally, you may be sued by another business or individual who is using the same name.
How often do I have to renew my DBA Name in Alabama?
In Alabama, you must renew your DBA Name every five years.
Where can I find more information about filing a DBA Name in Alabama?
You can find more information about filing a DBA Name in Alabama by visiting the website of the Alabama Secretary of State. You can also contact your local probate judge’s office for assistance.
How do I file a DBA Name in Alabama?
To file a DBA Name in Alabama, you must submit a DBA application to the Alabama Secretary of State. You can file the application online or in person.
How long is a DBA Name valid for in Alabama?
A DBA Name in Alabama is valid for five years.
What are the requirements to file a DBA Name in Alabama?
To file a DBA Name in Alabama, you must provide the business name, the name and address of the owner, and a description of the nature of the business.
Who is eligible to file a DBA Name in Alabama?
Any individual or business entity operating in Alabama can file a DBA Name.
What documents do I need to file a DBA Name in Alabama?
You will need to provide a copy of your business license, an assumed name certificate, and a copy of the owner’s driver’s license or state ID.
Can I file a DBA Name in Alabama online?
Yes, you can file a DBA Name in Alabama online through the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.
What happens after I file a DBA Name in Alabama?
Once you have filed your DBA Name, you will be able to conduct business under that name in Alabama.
Is there a difference between a DBA Name and a Trade Name in Alabama?
Yes, a DBA Name is a fictitious name and a Trade Name is a registered name that is similar to the owner’s legal name.
Can I change my DBA Name in Alabama?
Yes, you can change your DBA Name in Alabama by filing a new DBA application with the Alabama Secretary of State.
Do I need to register my DBA Name with the state of Alabama?
Yes, you must register your DBA Name with the state of Alabama in order to conduct business under that name.
Do I need to register my DBA Name with the county in Alabama?
Yes, you may need to register your DBA Name with the county in Alabama depending on the nature of the business.
Is there a renewal fee for a DBA Name in Alabama?
Yes, you must pay a renewal fee of $50 to renew your DBA Name in Alabama.
Can I register a DBA Name for multiple businesses in Alabama?
Yes, you can register multiple DBA Names for businesses in Alabama.
Is there a limit to the number of DBA Names I can register in Alabama?
No, there is no limit to the number of DBA Names you can register in Alabama.
Is there a limit to the number of businesses I can operate under one DBA Name in Alabama?
No, there is no limit to the number of businesses you can operate under one DBA Name in Alabama.
How do I advertise my DBA Name in Alabama?
You can advertise your DBA Name in Alabama by placing ads in local newspapers, on radio or television, or by using other forms of marketing.
Do I need to register my DBA Name with the city in Alabama?
You may need to register your DBA Name with the city in Alabama, depending on the business you are conducting.
Can I change my DBA Name in Alabama without filing a new application?
No, you must file a new DBA application with the Alabama Secretary of State in order to change your DBA Name.
Can I use my DBA Name in other states?
Yes, you can use your DBA Name in other states as long as you register it with the Secretary of State in those states.
Is there a deadline to file a DBA Name in Alabama?
No, there is no deadline to file a DBA Name in Alabama.
What happens if I don’t renew my DBA Name in Alabama?
If you do not renew your DBA Name in Alabama, the name will expire and you will no longer be able to use it.
Can I use the same DBA Name in multiple states?
Yes, you can use the same DBA Name in multiple states as long as you register it with the Secretary of State in each state.
Do I need to register my DBA Name with the federal government?
No, you do not need to register your DBA Name with the federal government.

Also Read

Why Alabama DBA Filing is So Important

DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” is a way for businesses to operate under a different name than their legal name. It allows businesses to establish a distinct identity for their operations that may differ from the registered legal entity. This gives business owners the flexibility to create a unique brand that resonates with their target market.

One of the key reasons why Alabama DBA filing is so important is that it helps establish legal ownership of a business name. By registering a trade name through DBA filing, business owners gain exclusive rights to use that name in the state of Alabama. This is crucial for protecting your brand identity and preventing others from using a similar or identical name, which could cause confusion among customers and harm your reputation.

DBA filing also provides credibility and legitimacy to your business. When customers see that your business is registered under a trade name, they are more likely to trust and do business with you. It shows professionalism and commitment to your brand, which can help attract more customers and build a loyal following.

Furthermore, an Alabama DBA filing is essential for opening a business bank account. Most financial institutions require businesses to provide proof of DBA registration before they can open a business account. This is because banks need to ensure that the business is operating legally under the name it claims to be doing business as. Without a DBA registration, you may encounter obstacles when trying to set up essential financial services for your business.

In addition, DBA filing in Alabama is necessary for complying with state laws and regulations. By registering your trade name with the appropriate state authorities, you demonstrate that your business is operating in compliance with the law. Failure to register a DBA could result in penalties or legal consequences, which could harm your business reputation and lead to financial losses.

Ultimately, Alabama DBA filing is a crucial step in the business registration process that should not be overlooked. By registering your trade name, you protect your brand identity, establish credibility with customers, and ensure compliance with state regulations. It is a vital investment that can have far-reaching benefits for your business in the long run. So, if you are considering operating under a different name than your legal entity, make sure to file for a DBA in Alabama to safeguard your business interests and set yourself up for success.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Alabama is the best way to update your business name. Unlike the registered legal business name, you can have as many as DBA names. You can use your new assumed name as soon as the state has processed your filing, and getting one is a rather simple process. Whether you have an LLC or any other business structure, filing a DBA name is helpful for your business upgradation anytime.

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