How to Get a DBA Name For an LLC in Illinois – 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 Illinois

Are you looking to establish a business in Illinois 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 Illinois, 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.

Illinois, popularly known as The Prairie 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 Illinois.

What is DBA Name in Illinois?

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 Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization 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 Illinois. 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 Illinois under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must submit a DBA name with Illinois 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 Illinois, 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 Illinois

To get a DBA in Illinois, you must first check if any other business is already using the name before filing a DBA in Illinois. You can then submit the Illinois business name reservation form after it has been confirmed that no other company is already using the chosen name. You can search the Illinois 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 Illinois, you must check with Illinois 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 Illinois.

  • In Illinois, 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 Illinois Banking Commissioner’s Office, or any insurance-related words without a letter from the Illinois Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois LLC name search guide to see how you can find the availability of your desired LLC name in Illinois.

Before you may register your Trade Name in Illinois, 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 Illinois.

Register the Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois
  • Application’s name, title, signature, and date Email address

Submitting the Illinois DBA Name Application

To file the Illinois DBA Name, you must apply to the Illinois Secretary of State. In Illinois, 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 Illinois is $50.

  • Online filing: For online filing, check the Illinois Cook County Clerk. There, look for the “Assumed Names” section. You will get the registration form.
  • Offline filing: For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form or drop it off in person at the Cook County Clerk, Vital Statistics P.O. Box 641070, Chicago IL, 60664-1070, ATTN: Assumed Name Unit

Using the Illinois Trade Name

Three “specimens” demonstrating the Trade Name used must be submitted to Illinois 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 Illinois

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 Indefinite in Illinois.

How to Change a Trade Name

You can change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name) by applying to the Illinois 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 Indefinite; after then, you can change or renew your DBA if needed through the Illinois SOS.

FAQs

What is a DBA Name?
A DBA Name, also known as a Doing Business As Name, is an assumed business name registered with the state which allows the company to legally transact business under the name.
What is the process to file a DBA Name in Illinois?
In Illinois, businesses must register their assumed business name with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. This process can be completed online or by mail.
How do I apply for a DBA Name in Illinois?
The application process for a DBA Name in Illinois can be completed online or by mail. The online application is available on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, and the mail-in application is available by download.
Is there a fee associated with filing a DBA Name in Illinois?
Yes. The fee for filing a DBA Name in Illinois is $150, and must be paid at the time of filing.
How long does it take for a DBA Name to be approved in Illinois?
The average processing time for a DBA Name in Illinois is between 5-10 business days.
Are there any requirements to file a DBA Name in Illinois?
Yes. Businesses must provide the following information when filing a DBA Name in Illinois
Do I need to register my DBA Name in multiple counties in Illinois?
No. A DBA Name filed in Illinois is valid statewide.
How often do I need to renew my DBA Name in Illinois?
A DBA Name in Illinois does not need to be renewed.
Is there a time limit to file a DBA Name in Illinois?
Yes. Businesses must file a DBA Name in Illinois within 30 days of engaging in business under the assumed name.
Can I reserve a DBA Name in Illinois?
No. It is not possible to reserve a DBA Name in Illinois.
Can I file a DBA Name in Illinois if my company is located in another state?
Yes. Businesses located outside of Illinois may file a DBA Name in Illinois if they are engaging in business within the state.
Are there any restrictions on the type of business that can file a DBA Name in Illinois?
No. Any business may file a DBA Name in Illinois.
How do I know if my DBA Name is available in Illinois?
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office provides an online search tool to check for the availability of a DBA Name in Illinois.
Is there a penalty for failing to file a DBA Name in Illinois?
Yes. Businesses that fail to file a DBA Name in Illinois may be subject to a fine of up to $500.
Can I use a DBA Name in Illinois for my LLC or Corporation?
Yes. Businesses may use a DBA Name in Illinois for an LLC or Corporation.
What type of documents must be filed with a DBA Name in Illinois?
The documents required to file a DBA Name in Illinois are the assumed business name, the owner’s name, the owner’s address, the purpose of the business, and the owner’s signature.
What is the business purpose of a DBA Name in Illinois?
A DBA Name in Illinois allows a business to legally conduct business under an assumed name.
Is it necessary to list all owners on the DBA Name filing in Illinois?
No. It is not necessary to list all owners on the DBA Name filing in Illinois.
Is there a way to expedite the filing of a DBA Name in Illinois?
No. There is no way to expedite the filing of a DBA Name in Illinois.
Can I file a DBA Name in Illinois for a sole proprietorship?
Yes. A DBA Name may be filed in Illinois for a sole proprietorship.
Is it necessary to publish a notice of my DBA Name in Illinois?
No. It is not necessary to publish a notice of a DBA Name in Illinois.
Are there any restrictions on the name I choose for my DBA Name in Illinois?
Yes. Businesses must choose a name that is not already in use in Illinois and must adhere to the naming rules and regulations set forth in the Illinois Business Corporation Act.
What happens if I change my business address after filing a DBA Name in Illinois?
Businesses must notify the Illinois Secretary of State’s office of any changes to the address listed on their DBA Name filing.
Can I use my DBA Name in other states?
No. A DBA Name filed in Illinois is only valid in Illinois.
Is it necessary to register my DBA Name with the IRS?
No. It is not necessary to register a DBA Name with the IRS.
Is it necessary to register my DBA Name with the local county clerk?
No. It is not necessary to register a DBA Name with the local county clerk.
Are there any special rules for filing a DBA Name for a charity in Illinois?
Yes. Charities must adhere to the special rules for filing a DBA Name for a charity in Illinois which are outlined in the Illinois Charitable Trust Act.
Is there a way to transfer ownership of a DBA Name in Illinois?
Yes. The transfer of ownership of a DBA Name in Illinois must be completed with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
Is there a way to cancel a DBA Name in Illinois?
Yes. Businesses can cancel a DBA Name in Illinois by completing the appropriate forms and submitting them to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
What happens if I fail to file a DBA Name in Illinois?
Businesses that fail to file a DBA Name in Illinois may be subject to a fine of up to $500. They may also be unable to legally transact business under the assumed name.

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Why Illinois DBA Filing is So Important

One of the primary reasons why Illinois DBA filing is so critical is that it provides businesses with a level of legitimacy and professionalism. By registering a fictitious business name, companies can create a distinct brand identity that captures the essence of their products or services. This separate identity can help businesses stand out in a crowded market, attract new customers, and build trust with existing ones.

Furthermore, DBA filing can also protect businesses from potential legal issues. Operating under a name that is not registered can expose companies to lawsuits, fines, and legal challenges. By filing for a DBA, businesses can ensure that the name they are using is unique and not already in use by another entity. This can prevent conflicts with other businesses and protect companies from costly legal disputes.

In addition to legal protection, DBA filing can also benefit businesses in terms of marketing and branding. A well-chosen fictitious business name can communicate the nature of a company’s products or services, appeal to target customers, and differentiate the business from its competitors. With a registered DBA, businesses can promote their brand with confidence, knowing that their name is legally protected.

Moreover, DBA filing in Illinois can streamline the process of opening a business bank account and accepting customer payments. Banks and financial institutions often require companies to provide proof of DBA registration in order to open an account in the business’s name. By obtaining a DBA, businesses can access essential financial services and facilitate their day-to-day operations.

For businesses seeking funding or partnership opportunities, having a registered DBA can also enhance credibility and professionalism. When potential investors or collaborators see that a business has taken the necessary steps to register its fictitious name, they are more likely to view the company as reliable and trustworthy. This can help businesses secure funding, forge partnerships, and grow their operations.

Overall, Illinois DBA filing is a crucial step for businesses looking to establish a strong brand, protect themselves legally, and access essential financial services. By registering a fictitious business name, companies can create a distinct brand identity, prevent legal conflicts, enhance marketing efforts, and build credibility with customers and stakeholders. In today’s competitive business landscape, obtaining a DBA is not just a legal requirement – it is a strategic investment that can set businesses up for success in the long run.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Illinois 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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