How has the weather been in your neck of the woods?
We are looking for feedback from our membership to see how/what the weather has been like in your area. Please Click here to take our Winter Weather Survey, we would appreciate it.
Well, basically it is for ID purposes. If you come up with a name and don't get a DBA you couldn't really prove you are a business. A DBA will prove that. It will also be asked for if you go to the bank to start a business account.
the first step is a DBA, even if you are not going to start for another few months, I would first get your DBA, then open a business checking account. After that get your liability, property, and if needed workers comp. If you have employees don't forget to register with the state, fed, and unemployment. You will need a federal id number through the fed, and with the state and unemployment you will receive an employer number
I agree with tiedeman, a dba is an important first to starting a business. It does not prove you are a business or are in business. Also it does not give you the rights to a particular name. You don't need a dba to get your local business license. More than one company can have the same dba in the same area. The only way to try to stop others from using your company name is to be the first in your area with that dba and then sue anybody who pops up after you do, but suing them is no guaranty. To have the "rights" to be the only one with your name would be to have it registered as a trademark.
I have been operating 12 years without a dba, it's not necessary. Yes I do have employees, I do pay workers comp, unemployment,sales tax, FICA, income tax and carry insurance. I think whether you get one depends on what type of business you have and how you plan to market it. You do need one to set up a business account at the bank in any other than your given name. You need the business account to cash checks made to a "business name." In my case all payments are made to me personally. If someone adds "lawn care" or something after my name, I can't cash that check. I run my business in a low-key, neighborly, informal way,so using just my own name suits me fine.
It is not necessary to have a dba. The dba will just notify your county's tax accessor that you are in business and will look forward to receiving taxes on your equipment, etc.
To get around the bank situation, lets say your name is Joe Smith and your company name is XXX Lawn Service. Do all of your advertising as XXX Lawn Service.... and don't have "your" name on the advertising. On all of your proposals, invoices, statements or whatever you plan to use, have the company listed as Joe Smiths' XXX Lawn Service with a note at the bottom stating that all checks are to be made out to Joe Smith. There is no law stating that just because you own a business that you have to have a business account. The bank wants you to open a business account so that you can pay them a service charge every month!
In Texas (or at least Harris County), when you file a dba they will tell you if someone else already has that name on file. And all anyone has to do is say OK, I want that name too and they will take the $11 filing fee and now 2 people have that comany name.