How to Get a DBA Name For an LLC in North Carolina – 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 North Carolina

Are you looking to establish a business in North Carolina 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 North Carolina, 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.

North Carolina, popularly known as The Tar Heel 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 North Carolina.

What is DBA Name in North Carolina?

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

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

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

Before you may register your Trade Name in North Carolina, 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 North Carolina.

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

Submitting the North Carolina DBA Name Application

To file the North Carolina DBA Name, you must apply to the North Carolina Secretary of State. In North Carolina, you can file the DBA name in two methods, by mail and in person.. The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in North Carolina is $26.

  • Online filing: There is no online filing available
  • Offline filing: For filing offline, you must send the accomplished DBA filing form to the Register of Deeds Office in the county where your business is located. Addresses vary by county.

Using the North Carolina Trade Name

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

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 North Carolina.

How to Change a Trade Name

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

FAQs

What is a DBA Name in North Carolina?
A DBA Name in North Carolina is also known as a “Doing Business As” name. It is a name that is used to register a business or engage in business activities in the state of North Carolina.
What is the process for filing a DBA Name in North Carolina?
The process for filing a DBA Name in North Carolina involves filing the appropriate paperwork with the North Carolina Secretary of State. The paperwork can be submitted in person, by mail, or online.
What forms do I need to file a DBA Name in North Carolina?
To file a DBA Name in North Carolina, you need to fill out an Application for Registration of a Fictitious Name (Form S-371).
Is there a fee to file a DBA Name in North Carolina?
Yes, there is a fee to file a DBA Name in North Carolina. The fee is $10 and must be paid when filing the Application for Registration of a Fictitious Name.
Where do I file a DBA Name in North Carolina?
You can file a DBA Name in North Carolina at the Secretary of State’s office or online.
How long does it take to file a DBA Name in North Carolina?
It typically takes 1-3 business days to file a DBA Name in North Carolina.
Is there a waiting period before I can use my DBA Name in North Carolina?
Yes, there is a waiting period of approximately 3-4 weeks before you can use your DBA Name in North Carolina.
How long is a DBA Name in North Carolina valid?
A DBA Name in North Carolina is valid for 5 years from the date of filing.
Can I change my DBA Name in North Carolina?
Yes, you can change your DBA Name in North Carolina by filing an amendment form with the Secretary of State.
Do I need to renew my DBA Name in North Carolina?
Yes, you need to renew your DBA Name in North Carolina every 5 years.
Do I need to publish my DBA Name in North Carolina?
Yes, after you have filed your DBA Name in North Carolina, you are required to publish the name in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the business is registered.
What happens if I don’t renew my DBA Name in North Carolina?
If you do not renew your DBA Name in North Carolina before it expires, your business will no longer be able to use the name and may be subject to penalties or fines.
How do I find qualified legal help for filing a DBA Name in North Carolina?
You can find qualified legal help for filing a DBA Name in North Carolina by searching online or asking for referrals from friends and family.
Is it possible to file a DBA Name online in North Carolina?
Yes, it is possible to file a DBA Name online in North Carolina. The online filing process is simple and efficient.
Are there special rules for filing a DBA Name in North Carolina if I am a corporation or LLC?
Yes, there are special rules for filing a DBA Name in North Carolina if you are a corporation or LLC. You must submit the appropriate paperwork and follow the state guidelines for filing.
Is a DBA Name in North Carolina the same as a trademark?
No, a DBA Name in North Carolina is not the same as a trademark. A DBA Name is a legal name used to register a business or engage in business activities in the state of North Carolina, while a trademark is a symbol or phrase used to identify a product or service.
How do I check if the DBA Name I want to use is available in North Carolina?
You can check if the DBA Name you want to use is available in North Carolina by performing a name search on the Secretary of State’s website.
Is there a list of restricted words that I cannot use when filing a DBA Name in North Carolina?
Yes, there is a list of restricted words that you cannot use when filing a DBA Name in North Carolina, such as Bank, Attorney, or Doctor. These words are restricted in order to protect consumers and prevent confusion.
How do I file multiple DBA Names in North Carolina?
You can file multiple DBA Names in North Carolina by filing a separate application for each name.
Does a DBA Name in North Carolina protect my identity?
No, a DBA Name in North Carolina does not protect your identity. It is only a legal name used to register a business or engage in business activities in the state of North Carolina.
Do I need to provide proof of a physical address when filing a DBA Name in North Carolina?
Yes, you need to provide proof of a physical address when filing a DBA Name in North Carolina. This is to confirm that the business is registered in the state of North Carolina.
Can I file a DBA Name in North Carolina if I am not a resident of the state?
Yes, you can file a DBA Name in North Carolina if you are not a resident of the state. However, you must register with the North Carolina Secretary of State and provide proof of a physical address in the state.
What is the difference between a DBA Name and an LLC in North Carolina?
The difference between a DBA Name and an LLC in North Carolina is that a DBA Name is a legal name used to register a business or engage in business activities in the state of North Carolina, while an LLC is a formal business structure that provides limited personal liability protection for its owners.
Is a DBA Name in North Carolina the same as a company name?
No, a DBA Name in North Carolina is not the same as a company name. A DBA Name is a legal name used to register a business or engage in business activities in the state of North Carolina, while a company name is the name of the business entity, such as a corporation or LLC.
Is a DBA Name in North Carolina the same as a sole proprietorship?
No, a DBA Name in North Carolina is not the same as a sole proprietorship. A DBA Name is a legal name used to register a business or engage in business activities in the state of North Carolina, while a sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business owned and operated by one person.
Can I use the same DBA Name in multiple states?
No, you cannot use the same DBA Name in multiple states. Each state has its own set of laws and guidelines for filing a DBA Name, and you must file a separate application for each state.
Are there any restrictions on what I can name my DBA Name in North Carolina?
Yes, there are restrictions on what you can name your DBA Name in North Carolina. The name must be distinguishable from any other registered business names in the state and cannot contain any restricted words.
What is the process for filing a DBA name in North Carolina?
To file a DBA name in North Carolina, you must first choose a name that complies with state requirements, which you can do by searching the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website for availability. Next, you will need to submit a Statement of Assumed Name form to the county register of deeds in the county where your business is located. Once the form is approved and filed, you will receive a certificate of assumed name.
Do I need to register my DBA name in North Carolina?
Yes, in North Carolina you are required to register your DBA name with the register of deeds office in the county where your business is located.
How much does it cost to file a DBA name in North Carolina?
The cost of filing a DBA name in North Carolina varies by county and is typically between $10 and $50.
Do I need to renew my DBA name in North Carolina?
No, in North Carolina DBA names do not need to be renewed.
What documents do I need to file a DBA name in North Carolina?
To file a DBA name in North Carolina, you will need to submit a Statement of Assumed Name form to the county register of deeds in the county where your business is located.
How long does it take to file a DBA name in North Carolina?
The process of filing a DBA name in North Carolina typically takes 1-2 business days.
Is there a limitation on the length of the DBA name I can choose in North Carolina?
Yes, in North Carolina the maximum length of a DBA name is 60 characters.
What happens if I don’t file a DBA name in North Carolina?
Failure to file a DBA name in North Carolina could result in fines and penalties from the state.

Also Read

Why North Carolina DBA Filing is So Important

A “doing business as” or DBA name is a name that a business operates under that is different from its legal name. This practice allows companies to use a more descriptive or catchy name for branding and marketing purposes. For example, if you wanted to operate under a different name than the one you registered with the state, you would need to file a DBA.

One of the key reasons why North Carolina DBA filing is so important is that it provides legal protection for businesses. By registering your DBA, you are making your business name official and protecting it from potential infringement claims. This means that you have the exclusive rights to use that name in the state of North Carolina, and you can take legal action against any other business that tries to use it without your permission.

In addition to legal protection, filing for a DBA can also help you establish credibility and professionalism. When customers see that your business is operating under a name that is registered with the state, they are more likely to trust your business and see it as legitimate. This can go a long way in building your brand and attracting new customers.

Furthermore, using a DBA can also help you create a clear distinction between your business and your personal identity. By operating under a separate name, you can differentiate your business activities from your personal affairs and protect your personal assets from potential business liabilities. This can be especially important for sole proprietors and small businesses that do not have the same level of legal protection as larger corporations.

Overall, North Carolina DBA filing is an important step in starting and growing a successful business. By registering your DBA, you can protect your business name, establish credibility, and create a clear separation between your business and personal identity. While it may seem like a small detail, filing for a DBA can have a big impact on the success and longevity of your business. Whether you are just starting out or looking to expand your existing business, taking the time to file for a DBA is a smart investment in the future of your company.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in North Carolina 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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