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Thread: Questions about DBA?

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    Default Questions about DBA?

    Hi, everyone.

    I have a few questions about filing for a DBA.

    1.) I'm starting a freelance business, so I'll be working with clients that live in several different states (and possibly even in different counties). Does this matter? In regards to which state I register my DBA with?

    2.) Another question about residence...I might be moving to a different state somewhat soon. If I register my DBA in the state I'm currently in and then move, will it still be valid? Will I have to take any other steps or anything?

    3.) My DBA is pretty much like a pen name for me. It's not that my name is "Sarah Burrows" and I want my business to be called "Pandora's Box". It's like my name is Sarah Burrows but I want to go by Beatrice Jones (just an example). Is there any different protocol for something like this, or is it just the same?

    4.) Finally, I already have social media accounts and an email address using my pen name. But until I get it officially registered, is it fine to communicate with all business clients using my real name (and listing my pen name as a "DBA as ___" or "Pseudonym: ____" or something similar?

    Thank you in advance for any info!

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    Hello,

    1) I would say it depends on which state you do business in. I would recommend getting your EIN number as soon as possible after you get your DBA.
    2) Again, I would say it depends on which state you live in. Contact your local city Courthouse in regards to this.
    3) If you are DBA under anything but your legal name you will need an official DBA.
    4) That is a matter of opinion. I give customers my real name all of the time. I would say the only time that might pose a problem is if I was in a field of business that it might be dangerous for them to find out personal information about me, but since I own the business I give out my real name. There maybe other reasons for you wanting to remain private, but that was just one I could think of at this moment. If you are concerned about people finding out what your real name is then please remember to register any of your www's under private, it costs more, but it will give you anonymity.

    You should consider contacting the Small Business Assoc., Chamber of Commerce and your local licensing bureaus for more specific regulations for your field of work and the area that you will be working in .

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    i have no idea about DBA's, but ill but into the conversation

    i get wanting to remain private if your business is nationwide.....id think there would be other ways to do it other than making up a fake name....why not just use your first name only

    will customer not trust you if they find out its a fake name?

    as a businessman i dont get the need for a DBA? can someone educate me?

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    We have our DBA for tax purposes and for our business credit score. Our city also requires a DBA, unless I am doing business under my first and last legal name. We also use our DBA for our EIN number, which is what we put on our W-9 for businesses we sell to.
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    Thanks for the replies. I still haven't gotten my questions answered though.

    Does anyone know how it works for freelancers who do business in more than one state?

    And if I were to file a DBA in one state, will it remain valid if I move to another?

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    I answered your question, it depends on the state and states involved. You need to do some leg work and make some phone calls to find out if the states you will be involved in require it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrawberryQuartz View Post
    1.) I'm starting a freelance business, so I'll be working with clients that live in several different states (and possibly even in different counties). Does this matter? In regards to which state I register my DBA with?
    You mention that you want information on a DBA, but this doesn't offer you any protection what so ever (I.E. If I sue your DBA for whatever reason, you and your personal assets are now on the hook as well). I'd highly suggest an LLC or S/C Corp.

    In either case, you will want to register your company where ever you maintain a physical presence.

    Quote Originally Posted by StrawberryQuartz View Post
    2.) Another question about residence...I might be moving to a different state somewhat soon. If I register my DBA in the state I'm currently in and then move, will it still be valid? Will I have to take any other steps or anything?
    Your best bet is to wait until you move as you would have to register in the new state all over again...no sense in paying the state fees multiple times...

    Quote Originally Posted by StrawberryQuartz View Post
    3.) My DBA is pretty much like a pen name for me. It's not that my name is "Sarah Burrows" and I want my business to be called "Pandora's Box". It's like my name is Sarah Burrows but I want to go by Beatrice Jones (just an example). Is there any different protocol for something like this, or is it just the same?
    Not sure what your trying to ask here, any company/dba is just a fictitious name and it can be anything you want it to be within reason (I.E. Doesn't infringe on someone elses name and doesn't contain improper language)

    Quote Originally Posted by StrawberryQuartz View Post
    4.) Finally, I already have social media accounts and an email address using my pen name. But until I get it officially registered, is it fine to communicate with all business clients using my real name (and listing my pen name as a "DBA as ___" or "Pseudonym: ____" or something similar?
    I don't see why you would want to communicate with clients under any other name but your real name?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyITGuy View Post
    In either case, you will want to register your company where ever you maintain a physical presence.
    Your best bet is to wait until you move as you would have to register in the new state all over again...no sense in paying the state fees multiple times...
    Okay, that's what I needed to know. Thanks!

    I don't see why you would want to communicate with clients under any other name but your real name?
    Well, to expand on my hypothethical-but-close-to-reality example above, let's say my name is Sarah Burrows. I'm a freelance copywriter. That's my business. But I want to go by my pen name/pseudonym Beatrice Jones in my professional life instead. Beatrice Jones has been my pen name for a while now; I already have fans of my brand using this name, I already have my social media accounts set up with that name, and my email address is beatricejones@____.com.

    However, I haven't registered Beatrice Jones as my DBA yet. So would I be under any legal liability if I did everything as Beatrice Jones but also ensured that my clients knew my real name as well from the very start?

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    Once you DBA as Beatrice Jones and get everything legal, you have no obligation to tell them your real name if you do not desire to do so. (You don't even need to tell them your real name before you DBA, but for taxes, bank accounts etc you do need a legal name.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pack-Secure View Post
    Once you DBA as Beatrice Jones and get everything legal, you have no obligation to tell them your real name if you do not desire to do so. (You don't even need to tell them your real name before you DBA, but for taxes, bank accounts etc you do need a legal name.
    Oh, really? That's good to know. Thank you! I thought that one could potentially get into legal trouble even if they market themselves under a different name before filing a DBA, but no?

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