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

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

Massachusetts, popularly known as The Bay 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 Massachusetts.

What is DBA Name in Massachusetts?

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

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

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

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

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

Submitting the Massachusetts DBA Name Application

To file the Massachusetts DBA Name, you must apply to the Massachusetts Secretary of State. In Massachusetts, you can file the DBA name in two methods, by mail and in person.. The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in Massachusetts is $65 Filing fee and $35 Additional fee if a non-Massachusetts resident.

  • Online filing: There is no online filing available
  • Offline filing: For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form or drop it off in person at the City Clerk’s Office, 1 City Hall Square, Room 601, Boston, MA 02201

Using the Massachusetts Trade Name

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

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 four years in Massachusetts.

How to Change a Trade Name

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

FAQs

What is a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
A DBA name, or “Doing Business As” name, is a name used to identify a business that is different from the legal name of the business. In Massachusetts, it is also known as an “assumed name” or “fictitious name”.
How do I file for a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
You must file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the Corporations Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The form can be obtained online or in person in the Corporations Division office.
Are there any restrictions on what I can use as a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
Yes. The name cannot contain any language implying that the business is organized for any purpose other than the one stated in the application, and the name cannot be the same, or deceptively similar to, the name of any other business on file with the Corporations Division.
How much does it cost to file a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
The filing fee is $50.
How long does it take to file a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
It typically takes one to two business days for the application to be processed.
Is a DBA Name in Massachusetts the same as a Trade Name?
Yes, a DBA Name in Massachusetts is the same as a Trade Name.
What happens if I do not register my DBA Name in Massachusetts?
If you do not register your DBA Name, you may be subject to penalties, and you may not be allowed to conduct business under that name.
Do I need to use my DBA Name on all business documents?
Yes. All documents, including contracts, invoices, and advertisements, must include the DBA Name.
Is there a minimum length requirement for a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
No, there is no minimum length requirement.
Is there a maximum length requirement for a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
Yes, the maximum length for a DBA Name in Massachusetts is 75 characters, including spaces.
Can I register a DBA Name for an LLC in Massachusetts?
Yes, you can register a DBA Name for an LLC in Massachusetts.
Can I register a DBA Name for a Corporation in Massachusetts?
Yes, you can register a DBA Name for a Corporation in Massachusetts.
How often do I need to renew my DBA Name in Massachusetts?
DBA Names in Massachusetts must be renewed every five years.
Can I register more than one DBA Name in Massachusetts?
Yes, you can register multiple DBA Names in Massachusetts.
Do I need to register my DBA Name with the city or county in Massachusetts?
No, you only need to register your DBA Name with the Corporations Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Do I need to register my DBA Name with the IRS in Massachusetts?
No, you do not need to register your DBA Name with the IRS in Massachusetts.
Is a DBA Name in Massachusetts the same as a Trademark?
No, a DBA Name in Massachusetts is not the same as a Trademark.
Do I need to notify the public when I file a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
No, you do not need to notify the public when you file a DBA Name in Massachusetts.
Can I use my DBA Name in Massachusetts to obtain a business license?
Yes, you can use your DBA Name in Massachusetts to obtain a business license.
Can I open a bank account under my DBA Name in Massachusetts?
Yes, you can open a bank account under your DBA Name in Massachusetts.
Can I use my DBA Name in Massachusetts to obtain a credit card?
Yes, you can use your DBA Name in Massachusetts to obtain a credit card.
Do I need an EIN number to use my DBA Name in Massachusetts?
No, you do not need an EIN number to use your DBA Name in Massachusetts.
Is a DBA Name in Massachusetts the same as a Sole Proprietorship?
No, a DBA Name in Massachusetts is not the same as a Sole Proprietorship.
What is the difference between a DBA Name and a Corporation in Massachusetts?
A DBA Name in Massachusetts is an assumed name or fictitious name used to identify a business that is different from the legal name of the business. A Corporation in Massachusetts is a legal entity that is separate from its owners and has the legal capacity to own property and liabilities, as well as to sue and be sued.
Can I use my DBA Name in Massachusetts to pay taxes?
Yes, you can use your DBA Name in Massachusetts to pay taxes.
What are the benefits of registering my DBA Name in Massachusetts?
Registering your DBA Name in Massachusetts allows you to conduct business under a different name than your legal name and can help build credibility for your business.
Do I need to register my DBA Name in each state I do business in?
Yes, you must register your DBA Name in each state you do business in.
Do I need to register my DBA Name in Massachusetts if I am an out-of-state business?
Yes, you must register your DBA Name in Massachusetts if you are conducting business in the state.
Is there a way to search to see if a DBA Name is already in use in Massachusetts?
Yes, you can search the Corporations Division’s online database to see if a DBA Name is already in use in Massachusetts.
What document do I need to file a DBA Name in Massachusetts?
You need to file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the Corporations Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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Why Massachusetts DBA Filing is So Important

One of the primary reasons why Massachusetts DBA filing is so important is to protect a business’s brand identity. A well-chosen business name is one of the key components of a successful brand. It is how customers will identify and remember a business, and it sets the tone for the company’s image and values. By registering a DBA, a business can ensure that its chosen name is exclusively associated with its products or services. Without a DBA filing, other businesses could potentially use the same name, causing confusion among customers and diluting the original business’s brand.

In addition to brand protection, a DBA filing can also help a business establish credibility and professionalism. Many customers prefer to do business with companies that are properly registered and have taken the necessary steps to operate legally. By registering a DBA, a business signals to customers, partners, and competitors that it is committed to following the rules and providing quality products or services. This can help build trust and credibility, which are essential for long-term success in any industry.

Furthermore, a DBA filing can also have important legal implications for a business. Operating under an unregistered name can leave a business vulnerable to legal action. If another individual or business is already using the same name or if a business’s use of the name is deemed to be confusingly similar to another established brand, the business could face lawsuits for trademark infringement. By registering a DBA, a business can avoid these costly legal battles and protect itself from potential legal disputes.

Additionally, a valid DBA filing is often required to open a business bank account, apply for business licenses and permits, or enter into contracts with vendors or clients. Without a DBA certificate, a business may face hurdles when trying to conduct basic operations or grow its customer base. By completing the DBA filing process, a business ensures that it has all the necessary paperwork to operate smoothly and confidently within the legal framework of Massachusetts.

In conclusion, Massachusetts DBA filing is a crucial step for any business looking to establish a strong brand, build credibility, and protect itself legally. By registering a DBA, a business can protect its brand identity, establish professionalism, and ensure compliance with legal requirements. Whether a business is just starting out or looking to rebrand, taking the time to file for a DBA certificate is a smart investment in the long-term success and sustainability of the business.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Massachusetts 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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