If you want to conduct business under a trade name that is different from the name used to form your New York business, then you need to file a DBA, or a “doing business as” name, in New York.
DBAs are useful for a number of reasons. They allow a business to open a bank account under a different name. They also allow a business to build a brand or product in a name other than the legal name of the business itself.
Perhaps the most well-known example of a company using a “DBA” is Doctor’s Associates Inc., which is doing business under the well-known brand “Subway.” As the story goes, Doctor’s Associates Inc., which derives its name from the principal owner’s initial goal to earn enough money to pay for school tuition, was created for the operations of “Subway.”
There are different requirements for different entities wishing to create a DBA. Corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies in New York must file a Certificate of Assumed Name that complies with Section 130 of the General Business Law. Other entities, such as general partnerships, sole proprietorships, and limited liability partnerships, must file an Assumed Name Certificate with the county clerk in every county within the state in which it conducts or transacts business.
Setting up a DBA in New York has certain conditions. First, the chosen DBA name must not already be in use. Second, the chosen DBA name cannot use words such as “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” “Limited,” and other words that can be found here.
Filing a DBA is relatively easy, so long as you follow the instructions and file the proper form. But, as with most filings with any government entity, it is often best to consult a New York attorney to help you wade through the particulars.
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