What is a DBA?
If your business operates as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, you should file an “Assumed Name Certificate”, also known as a DBA (stands for “doing business as”), for each name the business uses in commerce. The form is filed with the county clerk in each county where a business premise is maintained. If no business premise is maintained, it should be filed in each county where business will be conducted.
Who Needs to File a DBA?
If your business operates as a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company and operates under a name other than the name on file with the Secretary of State, an Assumed Name Certificate must be filed with the Secretary of State and each county in which the business will have a registered or principal office.
Please Note – Neither the filing of an Assumed Name Certificate nor the reservation or registration of a company name imparts any real protection to the party filing the certificate. It is merely a formal process that informs the general public of the registered agent for a business and where official contact with the business can be made. In case of a name dispute, it can be used as legal evidence in litigation.
Basic Steps for Filing a DBA:
- Determine what form of business you have.
- Fill out the appropriate form(s).
- Have the signature(s) notarized.
- Submit the form with payment to the appropriate authority, by mail or in person.
LLP’s, LLC’s, C Corporations and S Corporations
Texas Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, Texas 78711-3697
FAX: (512) 463-5709
**Partnerships—Contact an ATTORNEY to obtain legal advice and to draw up the partnership agreement to determine the division of assets and liabilities**
While not required, it is in your best interest to conduct a search to see if anyone else is already using the name you want to use.
State Search – For state-filed businesses such as Corporations, LLCs, etc.
Contact the Secretary of State to determine if a name you want to register is available.
Note: Online search requires payment of a fee by credit card.
(512) 475-2755 or e-mail SOSDirect@sos.state.tx.us
County Search – For business names filed at the county level.
This site contains records for 24 counties, including Potter & Randall. For counties not listed on this site, searches must be completed in-person at the County Clerk’s office. Staff members in the clerks’ offices are prohibited from conducting searches for you.
- Click on the link above for County Government Records.com.
- Select “Enter” and register for a free account at the bottom of the page (or log in with an existing account).
- Select the county you want to search, you will be on the “Document Search” page.
- Deselect the “Search All Documents” checkbox and then select “Assumed Name” from the list below (there are also options for Abandonment and Withdrawal).
- Enter the business name in the “Both Names” field, select “Exact Match” and click search. If there is more than one page of results, be sure to look through them all.