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

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

Washington, popularly known as The Evergreen 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 Washington.

What is DBA Name in Washington?

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

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

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

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

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

Submitting the Washington DBA Name Application

To file the Washington DBA Name, you must apply to the Washington Secretary of State. In Washington, 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 Washington is $24.

  • Online filing: For online filing, check the Washington State Business Licensing Service website
  • Offline filing: For filing offline in Washington, you must send the accomplished DBA filing form to the Washington Secretary of State, Corporations Division, P.O. Box 40234, Olympia, WA 98504-0234 or drop it off in person at 801 Capitol Way South, Olympia, WA 98501.

Using the Washington Trade Name

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

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 Washington.

How to Change a Trade Name

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

FAQs

What is a DBA Name in Washington?
A DBA (Doing Business As) Name is the name of a business that is different from the legal name of the company. In Washington, it is also known as an assumed, fictitious, or trade name.
How do I file a DBA Name in Washington?
To file a DBA Name in Washington, you must first register the name with the Washington Secretary of State. You can do this online, by mail, or by fax.
What information do I need to file a DBA Name in Washington?
To file a DBA Name in Washington, you will need to provide the following information
How much does it cost to file a DBA Name in Washington?
The cost to file a DBA Name in Washington is $30.
How long does it take to file a DBA Name in Washington?
It typically takes between 1-3 business days to file a DBA Name in Washington.
How long is a DBA Name valid in Washington?
A DBA Name in Washington is valid for 5 years and can be renewed before it expires.
What are the requirements to file a DBA Name in Washington?
To file a DBA Name in Washington, you must be a Washington resident, have a valid Social Security Number, and have a valid business address in Washington.
Do I need to register my DBA Name in Washington?
Yes, you must register your DBA Name in Washington in order for it to be valid and for you to be able to conduct business using that name.
Can I file a DBA Name in Washington without being a resident?
No, you must be a Washington resident to file a DBA Name in Washington.
Can I file a DBA Name in Washington without a Social Security Number?
No, you must have a valid Social Security Number to file a DBA Name in Washington.
Do I need to file a DBA Name in Washington if I am a sole proprietor?
Yes, even if you are a sole proprietor, you must still file a DBA Name in Washington if you plan to conduct business using a name that is different from your legal name.
Can I file a DBA Name in Washington if I already have a corporation or LLC?
Yes, you can still file a DBA Name in Washington even if you already have a corporation or LLC.
Do I need a separate business license to conduct business under a DBA Name in Washington?
Yes, you must obtain a separate business license to conduct business under a DBA Name in Washington.
Is there a minimum or maximum length for a DBA Name in Washington?
No, there is no minimum or maximum length for a DBA Name in Washington.
Is there a limit on how many DBA Names I can file in Washington?
There is no limit on how many DBA Names you can file in Washington.
Do I need to publish a notice for my DBA Name in Washington?
Yes, you must publish a notice in a legal newspaper in the county where you filed your DBA Name in order for it to be valid.
What if I want to change my DBA Name in Washington?
To change your DBA Name in Washington, you must file a new DBA Name application with the Washington Secretary of State.
Do I need to register my DBA Name in Washington if I am doing business in another state?
No, you only need to register a DBA Name in Washington if you are conducting business within the state of Washington.
Can I use a name that is already registered as a business name in Washington?
No, you cannot use a name that is already registered as a business name in Washington. You must choose a unique name for your DBA Name in Washington.
Is there a list of restricted words I cannot use for my DBA Name in Washington?
Yes, there is a list of restricted words that cannot be used for a DBA Name in Washington. These include words that are associated with government agencies, banks, and universities.
How will I know if my DBA Name is approved in Washington?
You will receive a confirmation letter from the Washington Secretary of State once your DBA Name is approved.
Do I need to file a DBA Name if I am conducting business online in Washington?
Yes, you must file a DBA Name in Washington if you are conducting business online within the state of Washington.
Do I need to register my DBA Name in every county in Washington?
No, you only need to register your DBA Name in the county where your business is located.
Do I need to file an amendment for my DBA Name in Washington?
Yes, if any changes are made to your DBA Name, you must file an amendment with the Washington Secretary of State.
How can I check the status of my DBA Name in Washington?
You can check the status of your DBA Name in Washington by visiting the Washington Secretary of State website.
How do I renew my DBA Name in Washington?
To renew your DBA Name in Washington, you must submit a renewal application to the Washington Secretary of State.
What are the penalties for not renewing my DBA Name in Washington?
If you do not renew your DBA Name in Washington, you will be subject to a $50 late fee. You may also be subject to other penalties such as having your DBA Name revoked.
Can I transfer my DBA Name in Washington?
Yes, you can transfer your DBA Name in Washington to another business entity.
Do I need to file an annual report for my DBA Name in Washington?
No, you do not need to file an annual report for your DBA Name in Washington.
Is there a fee associated with filing a DBA Name in Washington?
Yes, there is a filing fee of $30 associated with filing a DBA Name in Washington.
How long is a DBA Name in Washington valid?
A DBA Name in Washington is valid for five years from the date of filing.
What other documents may be required to file a DBA Name in Washington?
Depending on the type of business you are filing a DBA Name for, you may need to provide additional documents such as articles of incorporation or a business license.

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Why Washington DBA Filing is So Important

DBA filing, sometimes known as a trade name registration, is a critical step for businesses that operate under a name that is different from their legal entity name. This registration process allows businesses to conduct operations, advertise, and receive payments using a name other than their legal name.

So why is Washington DBA filing so important? While the process may seem mundane compared to the core business activities, it carries significant advantages that can impact a company’s success.

First and foremost, registering a DBA in Washington confers legal protection to businesses using a fictitious name. Without a DBA, other individuals or entities could claim the same name, resulting in legal disputes and potential financial losses. By registering a DBA, businesses establish a legal presumption of ownership over the name, giving them exclusive rights to use it in the state of Washington.

Moreover, a DBA filing can enhance a company’s credibility and professionalism. When customers see a business operating under a well-established name rather than a generic legal entity name, they are more likely to trust and engage with that business. A DBA instills confidence in customers and can help build brand recognition and loyalty in the long run.

In addition to legal protection and brand credibility, filing a DBA can also simplify the administrative aspects of doing business. By having a separate business name, companies can open separate bank accounts, accept payments, and create contracts under their DBA, streamlining financial processes and avoiding confusion that can arise from mixing personal and business finances.

Furthermore, a registered DBA can facilitate marketing efforts and expand business opportunities. With a distinct business name, companies can develop unique branding strategies, target specific customer segments, and launch marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience. A DBA can also enable businesses to expand into new markets or offer additional products or services under a different brand name.

Finally, registering a DBA in Washington is a relatively straightforward process. While the requirements may vary depending on the state and locality, most states have online registration portals that allow businesses to submit their DBA application efficiently. The cost of filing a DBA is typically minimal compared to the benefits it offers, making it a cost-effective investment for businesses of all sizes.

In conclusion, the importance of Washington DBA filing cannot be overstated. From legal protection and brand credibility to simplified administrative processes and enhanced marketing opportunities, registering a DBA is essential for businesses looking to establish a strong identity and thrive in today’s competitive market. Entrepreneurs should consider filing a DBA not just as a legal requirement but as a strategic move to set their businesses up for success.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Washington 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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