Are you an Indiana business owner who wants to be able to operate your company under an assumed name? If so, consider acquiring a doing business as (DBA) name.
How do you obtain a DBA name for your Indiana company, and how are you allowed to use your new name? In this guide, we’ll walk through every detail of the DBA acquisition process in this state.
How Do I File an Indiana DBA?
In Indiana, the process for getting a DBA is easy. You must first make sure that your desired name is available by using the Secretary of State’s search tool.
This ensures that your desired business name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business in the state.
Next, you need to file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name. You can either print and fill out the form, or file the certificate online at this link. In either case, you will need to submit the following information: Secretary of State Business Services Division
302 West Washington Street, Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204
For all business types (other than non-profits), the filing fee is $30. Checks must be made payable to “Secretary of State,” and all forms and payment should be mailed to the following address:
Secretary of State Business Services Division 302 West Washington Street, Room E018 Indianapolis, IN 46204In addition to this form, you will also need to file your DBA in the county in which your company primarily does business. You can contact your local county clerk’s office for information regarding paperwork and fees.
Get Your Business Domain
To fully embrace the business name, register your URL. With GoDaddy you’ll be able to quickly build a company website so that nobody else can use or take it.
What is an Indiana DBA?
For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, a DBA enables you to use a name other than the owner’s personal name. For limited liability companies and corporations, DBAs allow you to use multiple names to officially refer to your business activities.
There are many different reasons for Indiana companies to acquire ‘doing business as’ names.
- For sole proprietorships and partnerships, they can make your company sound more professional than simply using your own name. You can also open a bank account using your DBA, which can not only help you keep your business and personal assets separate, but customers often have a higher comfort level writing out a check to a business name rather than to an individual’s personal name.
- For corporations and LLCs, DBAs are frequently used to give the company the option of using different names for separate product lines. Another common usage of a DBA is to distinguish satellite businesses from your main company. Restaurant owners love to do this, as for example it can help a fine-dining establishment open a fast-casual spin-off restaurant without affecting customers’ perceptions of the original location. Whether you want to create this separation for marketing or accounting purposes (or both), a doing business as name gives companies options that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
In short, a DBA in Indiana allows businesses to communicate their image and express themselves in different ways without having to actually form a new business to do so.
How Long Does an Indiana DBA Last?
Any “doing business as” name registration has an effective lifespan of five years from the date it’s filed with the Indiana Secretary of State. If you would like to continue using your assumed name beyond the five-year point, you must file for renewal no earlier than 6 months prior to its expiry date. The Secretary of State typically sends an email to your business’ last known email address approximately six months before your DBA expires.
Should I Hire a Professional DBA Filing Service?
If you’d rather not fill out the paperwork and register for a DBA yourself, there are plenty of reputable companies offering a service. For a fee, these services will assemble the relevant paperwork and submit it to your state, and all you have to do is supply them with some basic information.
While hiring a DBA service can save you some time, there are probably better ways to use your budget. The most complicated step you will face is filing with your individual county, as the fees and filing process will vary by location. Nonetheless, the entire process does not require much paperwork, so you could probably just file for it yourself. That said, if you’re just too busy to handle any more tasks, most service providers (Ex: LegalZoom) charge a fair rate for this service.
The doing business as name, or DBA for short, is one of the most simple business filings for Indiana entrepreneurs. The process to acquire one is quite straightforward, and you can begin using your new assumed name as soon as the state completes your filing.
We hope this article answered your questions about how to file an Indiana; DBA!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does a DBA provide any legal protections?
A: No, registering a DBA does not legally protect you or your business. If you’re seeking personal asset protection, you might want to look into forming a corporation or a limited liability company rather than just acquiring a DBA name.
Q: Does a DBA need a registered agent?
A: A registered agent is not a legal requirement for sole proprietorships or general partnerships that acquire DBA names. However, limited liability companies and corporations do require a registered agent whether they have a DBA or not.
Q: Can someone else register a business using the same name as my DBA?
A: Filing a DBA does not give your business exclusive rights to your assumed name. If someone wants to use the same name, and they form an LLC or corporation with it, they are legally allowed to take your name for themselves.
Q: Does the state of Indiana require publication of a DBA name?
A: While some states do require business owners to publish proof of their DBA in a local newspaper, Indiana does not.