How to Get a DBA in New York | Register a New York Assumed Name
If you’re starting a business in New York and plan to operate under a name that’s different from your legal business name, you’ll need to file for a New York DBA (“doing business as”) name. In New York DBAs are formally referred to as an “Assumed Name”. In this guide, we’ll go over what a New York Assumed Name is, who’s required to get one, and the step-by-step process to file for your Assumed Name.
Important Note: It’s a common misconception that a DBA is a type of business structure. However, this is not accurate – A DBA (Assumed Name) is simply a registration to use a name different from your legal business name. Since a Assumed Name is not a separate legal entity, it does not provide limited liability protection for business owners or taxation flexibility, as an LLC does. If you want to know more about the differences between the two, visit our DBA vs LLC guide to learn more.
- What is a New York DBA?
- How to File a DBA (Assumed Name) in New York:
- New York Assumed Name FAQs:
DBA is an acronym for “Doing Business As” and refers to a filing that allows a business to operate under a different name from its legal name. While the commonly used name is DBA, New York State officially refers to the filing as an “Assumed Name”. Assumed Names are used by all types of businesses in New York but are most commonly used by sole proprietorships and partnerships.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships are informal business structures that don’t require legal formation paperwork to get started. As a result, their legal names are either their personal name (for sole proprietors) or must include the partners’ last names (for partnerships). As a result, most sole proprietors and partnerships opt to file a New York Assumed Name so that they can use a more credible and brandable business name.
Any business that will operate under any name that is different from their legal name must file for a New York Assumed Name.
The first step is to develop a business name that is unique, memorable, and easy to find in a web search. For some helpful hints and guidance on making sure your DBA name is as good as it can be, check out our useful guide, How to Come Up with a Business Name.
Once you have determined what you’d like to use as your business name, follow these steps to complete your New York Assumed Name filing.
To get a New York Assumed Name, you want to start with a business name availability search. To increase the likelihood that your Assumed Name application will be accepted, you will need to ensure that no other business uses the Assumed Name that you wish to use and that your business name is unique.
Why Having a Unique Assumed Name is Important
Your business name is the foundation of your strategic marketing strategy. Choosing a name similar to other businesses can get you lost in the white noise of competition. One massive benefit of a New York Assumed Name is that it provides you the one chance to break away from the pack.
Without the unique Assumed Name, you could be handicapping the best marketing and sales efforts to get your name out there. Worse yet, you could be sending business to others using a similar name.
To recap, we suggest that you do an extensive search to ensure the following:
- The Assumed Name is not currently in use nor too similar to other businesses
- The business name has never been used previously
Note: If the business name is available and has been used before, it is probably not all that unique. Also, the fact that the name is no longer in use could imply a lack of success on the part of the previous owners.
Searches to Complete
- Search the New York Online Database:
Verify that your desired New York Assumed Name is available to register and is not currently used by an existing business. You can complete this by using the New York Department of State Business Search tool.
- Check the US Patent and Trademark (USPTO) System:
Once you have verified that your name is available for registration, you’ll also want to ensure that the name is not trademarked. Since the trademark process is at the federal level, it supersedes any level registrations. You can search USPTO Trademark database here.
- Website Domain Search:
You will also want to complete a domain name search to check if the .com version of your business name is available. If you don’t plan to create a business website, you should still consider registering the domain name to prevent others from using it. Since you can register a new .com domain for less than $10 with namecheap, it can serve as a very cheap form of insurance against someone using the domain.
Once you have completed all the required name availability searches and confirmed that your name can be used, it’s time to complete your Assumed Name registration. In New York State, the registration process varies based on the legal structure of the business. For LLCs and Corporations, the Certificate of Assumed Name should be submitted to the NYS Department of State. For unincorporated businesses operating as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, the filing should be submitted to the county clerk’s office, where the business operates or transacts business.
Information to complete a New York Assumed Name Filing
While the process and information you’ll need to complete your Assumed Name filing will vary slightly, generally you’ll need to provide:
- Your desired Assumed Name
- Name of the business owner
- Date when you started or formed your business
- Business Address
- A signature of a notary to authenticate the registration
Filing Process for Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships
If you operating your business in New York state as a sole proprietor or general partnership, your New York DBA (assumed name) filing is submitted to the county clerk’s office where your business conducts or transacts business. You can find a full list of the county clerk’s offices in New York state by visiting the NYS Association Of County Clerks website. You’ll want to contact your local county clerk or visit their website for specific directions for filing an assumed name in the county and to obtain the county-specific Assumed Name Certificate form.
Given the amount of variance from county to county and that you’ll need to submit an assumed name certificate in each county where you operate or transact business you may find it helpful to use a professional DBA filing service provider to assist you.
Filing Process for LLCs and Corporations
If your business is formed as an LLC or Corporation you’ll need to submit your filing to the New York Department of State. First, you’ll want to get a copy of the Certificate of Assumed Name Form. Once you have completed the form you can submit your application in-person, by mail or by fax:
In-Person or Mail Submission:
New York State Department of State
Division of Corporations
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Be sure to include your payment for the filing fee along with your completed certificate. Payments can be made by cash (in-person only), check, money order, American Express, MasterCard or Visa. If you plan to pay by debit or credit card, you’ll need to include the NYS Payment Authorization Form. Any check payments made of $500 or more must be certified.
- $25 – Certificate of Assumed Name
- $10 – Certified Copy Fee (Optional)
Expedited Processing Options:
- $25 – 24 Hour Service
- $75 – Sam Day Service
- $150 – 2 Hour Service
Additional Corporation Only Fees:
- $100 for each county in New York City where the business is or will conduct business (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond County)
- $25 for for each county where business will be conducted outside of NYC
- $1,950 total fee if the Corporation will conduct in every county within New York State
If you would like more information on the business registration process for all four main business types in New York visit our guide, How to Register a Business Name in New York.
To get a New York DBA (Assumed Name) for an LLC or Corporation, you need to pay $25 in addition to submitting your completed Assumed Name application form to the New York Department of State. For sole proprietors and partnerships, assumed names are filed with the county clerk’s office in the counties where they transact business. For filing fees contact your local county clerk’s office.
Once your New York Assumed Name filing has been approved, it needs does not need to be renewed, as assumed name filings do not expire.
You can file for as many Assumed Name names as you need – there is no limit to the number of Assumed Names you can be issued.