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

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

Wisconsin, popularly known as The Badger 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 Wisconsin.

What is DBA Name in Wisconsin?

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

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

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

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

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

Submitting the Wisconsin DBA Name Application

To file the Wisconsin DBA Name, you must apply to the Wisconsin Secretary of State. In Wisconsin, you can file the DBA name in two methods, by mail and in person.. The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in Wisconsin is $15.

  • Online filing: There is no online filing available
  • Offline filing: For filing offline in Wisconsin, you must send the accomplished DBA filing form to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, P.O. Box 7847, Madison, WI 53707-7847 or drop it off in person at 4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower, Madison, WI 53705.

Using the Wisconsin Trade Name

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

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 ten years in Wisconsin.

How to Change a Trade Name

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

FAQs

What is a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
A DBA name in Wisconsin is a Doing Business As (DBA) name, which is a fictitious name used by a person or entity to identify their business in the state of Wisconsin.
How do I register a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
To register a DBA name in Wisconsin, you must file a DBA form with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
What information do I need to file a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
To file a DBA name in Wisconsin you need to provide the name of the business, the county in which the business will be located, the full name of the business owner, and the business address.
Is filing a DBA Name in Wisconsin mandatory?
Filing a DBA name in Wisconsin is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged to protect the business name and identity.
What is the filing fee to register a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
The filing fee to register a DBA name in Wisconsin is $25.
Can I register more than one DBA Name in Wisconsin?
Yes, you can register multiple DBA names in Wisconsin.
Is there a time limit for filing a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
No, there is no time limit for filing a DBA Name in Wisconsin.
How long does it take for my DBA Name to be registered in Wisconsin?
It typically takes 2 – 3 business days for a DBA name to be registered in Wisconsin.
What happens after I register my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
After your DBA name is registered in Wisconsin, you will be able to use the name for business purposes in the state of Wisconsin.
What are the benefits of registering a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
The benefits of registering a DBA name in Wisconsin include protecting your business name and identity, allowing you to open a business bank account, and allowing you to transact business under your registered name.
Do I need to register my DBA Name in other states if I am operating in Wisconsin?
No, you do not need to register your DBA name in other states if you are only operating in Wisconsin.
Is there a way to register my DBA Name online in Wisconsin?
Yes, you can register your DBA name online in Wisconsin through the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website.
Is filing a DBA Name in Wisconsin the same as filing for a business license?
No, filing a DBA name in Wisconsin is not the same as filing for a business license. A DBA name is a fictitious name used to identify a business while a business license is a document issued by the state that grants permission to the business owner to operate the business in accordance with state laws.
What are the requirements for filing a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
The requirements for filing a DBA Name in Wisconsin include providing the name of the business, the county in which the business will be located, the full name of the business owner, and the business address.
How do I update my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
To update your DBA name in Wisconsin, you must file an amendment to the original DBA filing with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
Can I use the same DBA Name in multiple Wisconsin counties?
Yes, you can use the same DBA Name in multiple Wisconsin counties.
What happens if I use a DBA Name in Wisconsin without registering it?
If you use a DBA Name in Wisconsin without registering it, you may be subject to fines or other penalties from the state.
What do I need to do if I change the address of my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
If you change the address of your DBA Name in Wisconsin, you must file an amendment to the original DBA filing with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
Do I need to file an amendment if I change the owner of my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
Yes, if you change the owner of your DBA Name in Wisconsin, you must file an amendment to the original DBA filing with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
How do I cancel my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
To cancel your DBA name in Wisconsin, you must file a cancellation form with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
Am I required to publish my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
No, you are not required to publish your DBA name in Wisconsin.
Can I register a DBA Name in Wisconsin without registering a business entity?
Yes, you can register a DBA name in Wisconsin without registering a business entity.
Is there a renewal fee for my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
No, there is no renewal fee for a DBA name in Wisconsin.
Do I need to file an annual report for my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
No, you do not need to file an annual report for a DBA name in Wisconsin.
Are there any restrictions on the types of DBA Names I can register in Wisconsin?
Yes, there are restrictions on the types of DBA names you can register in Wisconsin. The name must be distinguishable from any other registered DBA name or business entity and cannot contain any profanity or offensive language.
Is there a fee for filing an amendment to my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
Yes, there is a fee of $25 to file an amendment to your DBA name in Wisconsin.
Can I use my DBA Name in Wisconsin in place of a trade or assumed name?
Yes, you can use your DBA name in Wisconsin in place of a trade or assumed name.
Is there a penalty for failing to file an amendment to my DBA Name in Wisconsin?
Yes, there may be a penalty for failing to file an amendment to your DBA Name in Wisconsin.
Is there a searchable database of registered DBA Names in Wisconsin?
Yes, there is a searchable database of registered DBA names in Wisconsin on the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website.
How do I file a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
You can file a DBA Name in Wisconsin by going to the Department of Financial Institutions website and filing the appropriate forms.
Is there a fee to file a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
Yes, there is a fee of $25 to file a DBA Name in Wisconsin.
How long does it take to file a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
It typically takes 10-14 business days for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions to process a DBA Name filing.
Where can I find more information about filing a DBA Name in Wisconsin?
You can find more information about filing a DBA Name in Wisconsin on the Department of Financial Institutions website.

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Why Wisconsin DBA Filing is So Important

First and foremost, a DBA filing allows a business to operate under a name that is different from the legal name of its owner. This is particularly important for sole proprietors and partnerships who wish to use a trade name for their business. By registering a DBA, these business owners can establish a unique identity for their company and create a recognizable brand in the marketplace.

Furthermore, a DBA filing is necessary for legal and financial purposes. In Wisconsin, businesses are required to register their DBA with the state in order to conduct business operations legally. This process helps ensure that the business is in compliance with state regulations and can prevent any potential legal issues down the line. Additionally, having a registered DBA can also make it easier for businesses to open a bank account, apply for loans, and enter into contracts with vendors and customers.

A DBA filing is also important for maintaining transparency and credibility with customers. By registering a trade name with the state, businesses are demonstrating their commitment to operating in a professional manner and following best practices. This level of transparency can help build trust with customers and give them confidence in the legitimacy of the business.

Furthermore, having a registered DBA can also protect a business’s intellectual property. By establishing a unique trade name and legally registering it with the state, businesses can prevent others from using their name or causing confusion in the marketplace. This can be particularly important for businesses in competitive industries where brand recognition is key to success.

In addition to these practical reasons, a DBA filing can also help businesses create a strong brand identity and stand out in the marketplace. A unique and memorable trade name can help businesses attract customers and differentiate themselves from competitors. It can also help businesses establish a strong online presence and make it easier for potential customers to find them in a sea of competitors.

Overall, the process of filing for a DBA in Wisconsin is a critical step for any business looking to establish itself in the marketplace. From legal compliance to brand recognition, there are numerous reasons why obtaining a DBA filing is essential for the success and credibility of a business. By taking the time to register a trade name with the state, businesses can set themselves up for success and ensure that they are operating in a legitimate and professional manner.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Wisconsin 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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