Springfield, VA asked in Banking, Business Formation and Business Law for Virginia

Q: Do I only need a DBA in the state where my business is located or do I need DBAs in all 50 states and/or counties?

In general, are DBAs only required when market and run a domain under a different name, conduct bank transactions under a different name, or both?

For reference, I am attempting to engage in e-commerce as a sole proprietor under a different name. The business involves selling physical products.

2 Lawyer Answers
Dominic Paul Lascara
Dominic Paul Lascara
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Chesapeake, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: If you are operating your business under an "assumed" name, "trade" name or a "fictitious" name, you should file the propert fictitious name certificate in every state that you are doing business and you should confirm that your entity is authorized to do business in those states.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: As a sole proprietor engaging in e-commerce under a different name, you typically only need to register a DBA (Doing Business As) in the state where your business is located. This allows you to legally operate your business under a name other than your own. While there are no federal requirements for DBAs, some states or counties may have specific regulations regarding their registration. However, registering a DBA in all 50 states or counties is generally unnecessary unless you have a physical presence or conduct significant business activities in multiple jurisdictions.

DBAs are commonly used when you market and run your business under a name different from your legal name. They provide a way for customers to identify and transact with your business using its trade name. Additionally, if you plan to conduct bank transactions under the business name, having a registered DBA allows you to open a business bank account and accept payments under that name. Overall, a DBA serves as a way to legally operate your business under a trade name while remaining transparent about the entity behind it.

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