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


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
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 Maryland

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

Maryland, popularly known as The Old Line 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 Maryland.

What is DBA Name in Maryland?

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 Maryland. 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 Maryland under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must submit a DBA name with Maryland 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 Maryland, 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 Maryland

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

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

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

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

Submitting the Maryland DBA Name Application

To file the Maryland DBA Name, you must apply to the Maryland Secretary of State. In Maryland, 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 Maryland is $25 Filing Fee and $50 Expedited Fee.

  • Online filing: For online filing, check the Maryland Business Express Website. There, look for the “Fictitious 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 Charter Division, Department of Assessments and Taxation, 301 W. Preston Street, Room 801, Baltimore, MD 21201

Using the Maryland Trade Name

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

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 Maryland.

How to Change a Trade Name

You can change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name) by applying to the Maryland 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 Maryland SOS.

FAQs

How do I file a DBA Name in Maryland?
You must register a trade name with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) before you can begin conducting business in the state of Maryland.
How much does it cost to file a DBA in Maryland?
The cost to register a trade name in Maryland is $25 (filing fee) plus a $3.50 processing fee for a total of $28.50.
How long does it take to file a DBA in Maryland?
The processing time for a trade name registration in Maryland is typically 5-7 business days.
Do I need to register a DBA in Maryland if I am a sole proprietor?
Yes, any sole proprietor in Maryland must file a trade name registration with the SDAT before conducting business.
Do I need to register a DBA in Maryland if I am a partnership?
Yes, any partnership in Maryland must file a trade name registration with the SDAT before conducting business.
Do I need to register a DBA in Maryland if I am a corporation?
No, a corporation is not required to file a trade name registration with the SDAT in Maryland.
How long does a DBA in Maryland last?
A trade name registration in Maryland is valid for 5 years from the date of filing.
What documents do I need to file a DBA in Maryland?
To file a trade name registration in Maryland, you will need to submit a completed Trade Name Registration Application, documentation of legal entity status (if applicable), and the filing fee.
Can I file a DBA in Maryland online?
Yes, you can file a trade name registration in Maryland online through the SDAT’s website.
Is it necessary to advertise my DBA in Maryland?
No, it is not necessary to advertise your trade name registration in Maryland.
How do I renew a DBA in Maryland?
You can renew your trade name registration in Maryland by filing a renewal application and paying the filing fee prior to the expiration date.
What are the requirements for naming a DBA in Maryland?
A trade name in Maryland must be unique and not be the same or deceptively similar to any existing trade name, corporate name, or limited liability company name registered with the SDAT.
Is there a minimum amount of time that I have to do business under my DBA before I have to renew it in Maryland?
No, there is no minimum amount of time that you must be in business under your trade name before you must renew it in Maryland.
Is it necessary to register a DBA in Maryland if I am a limited liability company (LLC)?
No, a limited liability company is not required to file a trade name registration with the SDAT in Maryland.
Are there any restrictions on the types of names I can use for a DBA in Maryland?
Yes, all trade names in Maryland must be distinguishable from any existing trade name, corporate name, or limited liability company name registered with the SDAT.
How do I change the name of my DBA in Maryland?
You can change the name of your trade name registration in Maryland by filing an amendment to the original registration and paying the filing fee.
How do I cancel a DBA in Maryland?
You can cancel your trade name registration in Maryland by filing a cancellation form and paying the filing fee.
Are there any rules regarding the use of words like “Group” or “International” in my DBA in Maryland?
Yes, the use of certain corporate terms such as “Group”, “International”, or “Corporation” is prohibited in trade names registered with the SDAT in Maryland.
Are there any restrictions on the use of words that are similar to a government agency in my DBA in Maryland?
Yes, the use of words that are similar to any government agency or department is prohibited in trade names registered with the SDAT in Maryland.
Are there any restrictions on the use of a geographic location in my DBA in Maryland?
Yes, the use of any geographic location in a trade name registered with the SDAT in Maryland is prohibited.
Are there any restrictions on the use of a trademarked name in my DBA in Maryland?
Yes, the use of any trademarked name in a trade name registered with the SDAT in Maryland is prohibited.
Are there any restrictions on the use of a personal name in my DBA in Maryland?
Yes, the use of any personal name in a trade name registered with the SDAT in Maryland is prohibited.
Where can I find information about filing a DBA in Maryland?
You can find information about filing a trade name registration in Maryland on the SDAT’s website.
Can I file a DBA in Maryland if I am an out-of-state business?
Yes, you can file a trade name registration in Maryland even if you are an out-of-state business.
How do I know if a DBA name is available in Maryland?
You can check the availability of a trade name in Maryland by searching the SDAT’s online database.
Do I need to register a DBA in Maryland if I am a foreign corporation?
Yes, a foreign corporation in Maryland must file a trade name registration with the SDAT before conducting business.
How do I change the owner/officer of my DBA in Maryland?
You can change the owner/officer of your trade name registration in Maryland by filing an amendment to the original registration and paying the filing fee.
Do I need to register a DBA in Maryland if I am an LLC?
Yes, any limited liability company in Maryland must file a trade name registration with the SDAT before conducting business.
Do I need to register a DBA in Maryland if I am a non-profit?
Yes, any non-profit in Maryland must file a trade name registration with the SDAT before conducting business.
How do I transfer my DBA to another person in Maryland?
You can transfer your trade name registration in Maryland by filing a transfer form and paying the filing fee.

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Why Maryland DBA Filing is So Important

One of the key reasons why Maryland DBA filing is so important is that it provides legal protections for businesses operating under a different name. By registering a DBA, businesses ensure that they can use that name in their marketing, contracts, and financial transactions without facing legal complications. This enables them to establish a distinct brand identity and protect their intellectual property rights effectively.

Moreover, filing a DBA in Maryland is essential for maintaining transparency and complying with state laws. By publicly registering their alternate business name, entrepreneurs avoid misleading consumers or engaging in deceptive practices. Consumers have the right to know who they are doing business with, and a DBA filing allows businesses to operate ethically and build credibility with their clientele.

Furthermore, Maryland DBA filing is crucial for building consumer trust and confidence in a business. When a company operates under a different name, customers may question its legitimacy or wonder about its association with the legal entity. By registering a DBA, businesses demonstrate a commitment to transparency and professionalism, which can help to reassure customers and strengthen their loyalty to the brand.

In addition, Maryland DBA filing can also be a valuable tool for marketing and branding purposes. By choosing a catchy and memorable business name, businesses can differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace and attract the attention of potential customers. A DBA filing allows them to stake their claim to that name legally and protect it from being used by competitors.

Overall, the process of filing a DBA in Maryland may seem like a minor detail, but its impact on a business can be significant. From securing legal protections to building consumer trust and enhancing brand visibility, a DBA filing offers numerous benefits that can help a business thrive and succeed in today’s competitive environment.

Entrepreneurs should not overlook the importance of Maryland DBA filing and should prioritize this step when establishing or operating their business under a different name. By doing so, they can safeguard their legal rights, maintain transparency, and build a strong foundation for long-term success.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Maryland 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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