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

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

Virginia, popularly known as The Old Dominion, 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 Virginia.

What is DBA Name in Virginia?

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

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

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

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

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

Submitting the Virginia DBA Name Application

To file the Virginia DBA Name, you must apply to the Virginia Secretary of State. In Virginia, 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 Virginia is $10.

  • Online filing: For online filing, check the State Corporation Commission (SCC) of the Commonwealth of Virginia website
  • Offline filing: For filing offline in Virginia, you must send the accomplished DBA filing form to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218 or drop it off in person at 1300 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219.

Using the Virginia Trade Name

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

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 Virginia.

How to Change a Trade Name

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

FAQs

What is a DBA Name?
DBA stands for “doing business as” and is also known as a trade name or assumed name. In Virginia, a DBA name is a name that a business uses for trading purposes that is different from its legal name.
Do I need to register my DBA Name in Virginia?
Yes, you must register your DBA name in Virginia with the State Corporation Commission.
What information do I need to file a DBA Name in Virginia?
To file a DBA Name in Virginia, you will need to provide the exact DBA name you are using, the name and address of the business entity, the type of business entity, and the duration of the DBA name.
How do I file a DBA Name in Virginia?
You can file a DBA Name in Virginia online through the State Corporation Commission’s website or by mail.
How long does it take to file a DBA Name in Virginia?
The filing process for a DBA Name in Virginia can take up to five business days.
Does my DBA Name need to be different from my legal name?
Yes, your DBA Name should be different from your legal name in Virginia.
What are the requirements for a DBA Name in Virginia?
A DBA Name in Virginia must be unique and not be the same as, or similar to, an existing entity’s name. It also cannot include language that implies the name is something other than a DBA name.
Is a DBA Name the same as a trade name in Virginia?
Yes, a DBA Name is the same as a trade name in Virginia.
Can I use a DBA Name in Virginia for a sole proprietorship?
Yes, you can use a DBA Name in Virginia for a sole proprietorship.
Can I use a DBA Name in Virginia for a limited liability company (LLC)?
Yes, you can use a DBA Name in Virginia for an LLC.
Do I need to register my DBA Name in other states besides Virginia?
Depending on the type of business entity and the scope of the business operations, you may need to register the DBA Name in other states.
How much does it cost to file a DBA Name in Virginia?
The cost to file a DBA Name in Virginia is $5.
How long does a DBA Name in Virginia last?
A DBA Name in Virginia will last for a period of five years from the date of filing.
Do I need to renew my DBA Name after five years in Virginia?
Yes, you will need to renew your DBA Name in Virginia after five years.
What happens if I don’t renew my DBA Name in Virginia?
If you do not renew your DBA Name in Virginia within the five-year period, the DBA Name will become inactive and you will need to file a new DBA Name.
Can I use my DBA Name in Virginia for a federal trademark application?
No, you cannot use your DBA Name in Virginia for a federal trademark application.
Can I use my DBA Name in Virginia for a website URL?
Yes, you can use your DBA Name in Virginia for a website URL as long as it is not the same as, or similar to, an existing business entity’s name.
What if I want to change the name of my DBA in Virginia?
If you want to change the name of your DBA in Virginia, you will need to file a new DBA Name with the State Corporation Commission.
Can I have more than one DBA Name in Virginia?
Yes, you can have more than one DBA Name in Virginia, however each one must be registered separately.
What types of businesses are required to use a DBA Name in Virginia?
In Virginia, all businesses that wish to operate under a name other than their legal name must register a DBA Name. This includes sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and partnerships.
Are there any restrictions on the words I can use for my DBA Name in Virginia?
Yes, there are restrictions on the words that can be used for a DBA Name in Virginia. The name cannot include language that implies the name is something other than a DBA name, such as “incorporated” or “corporation”.
Is there a fee to change the name of my DBA Name in Virginia?
Yes, there is a fee of $5 to change the name of a DBA Name in Virginia.
Is there a fee to renew my DBA Name in Virginia?
Yes, there is a fee of $5 to renew a DBA Name in Virginia.
Is there a fee to cancel a DBA Name in Virginia?
No, there is no fee to cancel a DBA Name in Virginia.
Is there an annual fee to maintain a DBA Name in Virginia?
No, there is no annual fee to maintain a DBA Name in Virginia.
Can I use a DBA Name in Virginia for a foreign company?
Yes, you can use a DBA Name in Virginia for a foreign company as long as the company is registered with the State Corporation Commission in Virginia.
What type of bank account can I use with my DBA Name in Virginia?
You can open a bank account with your DBA Name in Virginia as long as the bank is located in Virginia.
Can I use a DBA Name in Virginia for a nonprofit organization?
Yes, you can use a DBA Name in Virginia for a nonprofit organization.
Can I use a DBA Name in Virginia for a trust?
Yes, you can use a DBA Name in Virginia for a trust.
Can I use a DBA Name in Virginia for a partnership?
Yes, you can use a DBA Name in Virginia for a partnership.

Also Read

Why Virginia DBA Filing is So Important

First and foremost, filing a DBA in Virginia allows for better brand protection. By registering your business name with the state, you establish legal ownership and the exclusive right to use that name within the state. This means that no other business can operate under the same name in Virginia, protecting your brand from confusion and potential legal issues down the road.

In addition to brand protection, Virginia DBA filing is essential for establishing credibility and professionalism. When customers see that your business is registered with the state and operating under a legal name, it instills trust and confidence in your brand. It shows that you are a legitimate, established business that is serious about your operations.

Furthermore, filing a DBA can provide important tax benefits for small businesses in Virginia. By registering a trade name with the state, you can easily separate your personal finances from your business finances. This allows for cleaner accounting practices and can save you time and money come tax season.

Another key reason why Virginia DBA filing is so important is for banking and financing purposes. Many banks and lending institutions require businesses to have a registered DBA in order to open a business account or apply for a loan. Without a DBA, your business may be limited in its ability to access financial services and secure the capital needed to grow and expand.

Finally, Virginia DBA filing is crucial for legal protection. By registering your business name with the state, you can protect yourself from potential trademark infringement lawsuits. If another business operates under a similar name and files a trademark, you could find yourself in legal trouble. By proactively registering your DBA, you can ensure that your business name is legally protected.

In conclusion, Virginia DBA filing may seem like a small detail in the grand scheme of starting and running a business. However, the benefits and protections that come with proper registration are significant and cannot be overlooked. From brand protection and credibility to tax benefits and legal protections, filing a DBA in Virginia is essential for any business owner looking to establish a strong foundation for success. It is a relatively simple and inexpensive process that can have lasting benefits for your business. Don’t underestimate the importance of Virginia DBA filing – your business’s future may depend on it.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Virginia 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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