Do you want to acquire an assumed name for your business that you can use in an official capacity?
You could form a formal business entity for your company, like a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation, or you can file a doing business as (DBA) name with your state.
While the DBA does have some disadvantages compared to LLCs and corporations (primarily, the lack of personal asset protection that these entity types provide), it can still be a good fit in certain situations, especially if your state provides exclusive naming rights for DBA holders.
There are dozens of online services offering to obtain your DBA for you in exchange for a reasonable fee, freeing you up to spend more time on actually running your business. To make it easier to decide which of these services you should use, we dug deep into the details of each company’s offer. The following is a collection of the very best DBA filing services available online.
An Overview of DBA Filing Services
For most businesses, the process is quite simple. All you need to do is provide your chosen company with some basic information about your business — like your principal office address and your desired name — and they’ll fill out and file the paperwork with your state.
Most companies offer similar price points for DBA filing services, and the vast majority of them also provide comparable feature sets. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t plenty setting these companies apart. Let’s take a look at the five best DBA filing services available today (plus a couple of honorable mentions) and discuss why they’re better than the competition.
Best DBA Filing Services Reviewed
- LegalZoom ($99)
- Incfile ($99)
- Swyft Filings ($99)
- MyCompanyWorks ($99)
- Direct Incorporation ($89)
LegalZoom is the biggest name in the business services industry, but their pricing usually precludes them from landing a high spot in our guides.
However, in the case of DBA filing services, LegalZoom excels. Their $99 price point is on the lower end of the industry norms, and LegalZoom is one of the most experienced companies you’ll find in the online business services marketplace.
LegalZoom also has an industry-best 100% satisfaction guarantee that promises to refund any unsatisfied customer’s service fees within 60 days. Furthermore, the company has extended customer support availability that even includes weekends, and it also receives mostly positive customer feedback.
However, the biggest advantage for LegalZoom when it comes to DBA filing services is its inclusion of publication service for free. Seven states — California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania — require entrepreneurs to file a notice of their new DBA names in reputable local newspapers. LegalZoom is the only company providing DBA filing services in all 50 states that offers to complete your publication requirement at no extra charge!
LegalZoom is the top option for DBA filings in any state, but they’re a no-brainer for those of you filing DBAs in these seven states.
Incfile hits the same $99 price point as LegalZoom, but without the free publication service offer.
This company still has plenty of advantages compared to most other DBA filing services. For instance, Incfile has one of the best customer feedback reputations in this industry, with nearly 27,000 positive reviews all across the web.
While Incfile also can’t match LegalZoom’s experience level, it does have a significant amount of expertise in its own right, with more than 500,000 businesses served since the company was formed in 2004. If you also want to form an LLC or corporation, Incfile’s free offer is extremely enticing. Overall, Incfile falls just short of LegalZoom in a couple of key areas, but it remains an outstanding alternative.
Swyft Filings ($99)
Swyft Filings is another company offering $99 DBA filing services and it balances what we like about LegalZoom and Incfile.
Like LegalZoom, Swyft Filings has an outstanding refund policy that provides a full refund of their service fees with no questions asked. And like Incfile, Swyft Filings has tens of thousands of positive reviews available online.
Swyft Filings has always been an excellent option for entrepreneurs looking for fast, efficient business services, and that certainly holds true with its DBA filing service!
Guess what? It’s another company with that same $99 price point! We have always admired MyCompanyWorks as a solid midsize company that isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with the heavy hitters of the industry.
MyCompanyWorks has outstanding customer feedback, with more than 3,700 reviews available online and hardly any negative feedback among them.
The other aspect of MyCompanyWorks that we really appreciate is how responsive their customer support system is. If you contact them during business hours, they will usually reply within 20 minutes! That’s quite the accessible support team, especially compared to some competitors that can take days to get back to you.
Direct Incorporation ($89)
If saving money is your top priority, you can push Direct Incorporation all the way to the top of the list. After all, they’re one of very few companies in this industry that undercuts the $99 price point offered by the other options in this guide.
However, despite a long track record, Direct Incorporation has a very small collection of customer feedback available on reputable third-party review aggregator sites, and many of their few dozen reviews are negative. That said, ten bucks is ten bucks, and we trust Direct Incorporation to provide a high-quality DBA filing service.
We already mentioned that our top choice, LegalZoom, provides free publication service to entrepreneurs purchasing DBA service in states that require it.
We also have a couple of state-specific choices to make in our Honorable Mentions category that point out some great options for those of you looking to acquire a DBA in California or Nevada.
SunDoc Filings – Best DBA Filing Service in California ($79 + $20 for Publication)
While SunDoc Filings offers many of its business services in all 50 states, it only provides DBA filing services in California.
If you’re applying for a DBA in this state, SunDoc Filings is an excellent option. If you want to take care of your own publication requirement, SunDoc Filings will acquire your DBA for just $79. If you would rather have them handle publication as well, the price point increases to $99, which is equivalent to LegalZoom’s pricing model.
SunDoc Filings’ big advantage in this state is its location in Sacramento, which allows SunDoc’s staff to visit the Secretary of State’s office three times per day. This means they have the fastest turnaround times for California business services you’ll find anywhere. They also have thousands of positive reviews and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, making them the absolute best option for California DBAs.
IncParadise – Best DBA Filing Service in Nevada ($75)
Similar to SunDoc Filings, IncParadise provides quite a few services in all 50 states, but its DBA filing service is only available in Nevada.
That said, IncParadise has an incredible $75 price point for this service that undercuts every competitor we’re aware of, and they also offer incredibly fast turnaround times thanks to their location in Nevada.
These aren’t the only advantages of IncParadise, however. They also offer some of the lowest rates we’ve ever seen for registered agent service, and their 100+ customer reviews are almost all positive. Their DBA filing service might be limited to one state, but that’s just about the only limitation of IncParadise’s services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are These Websites Legit?
While we can understand some of our readers might have questions about ordering important business services online, we can reassure you that the sites discussed in this guide are 100% legitimate. In fact, these are the same companies we use when we purchase these services.
Why Should I Use These Services Instead of a Lawyer?
Every company we profiled in this guide can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over hiring an attorney. At the same time, you’re still receiving services from experienced professionals. That said, if you operate a business in an industry with lots of regulations, you may want to consult an attorney.
What Else Can Online Business Services Companies Provide?
Depending on the company you choose, the list of additional services available may vary. However, most of these companies also offer things like business formations, registered agent service, corporate bylaws, operating agreements, foreign qualifications, federal tax ID numbers (EIN), and much more.
Do the Prices Listed Above Include My State’s DBA Filing Fee?
No. Because each state has its own fees for DBA filings, we listed each company’s service fees before adding the state fee. You will need to add your state’s filing fee to the prices you see above.
Can’t I Just File My Own DBA Application?
You certainly can. Many entrepreneurs do choose to file their own DBA applications. However, we will point out that it’s much easier to hire a business services provider and focus on actually running your business instead of spending your time filling out and filing paperwork. Furthermore, the peace of mind you’ll receive from having a professional file your DBA application is invaluable.
Should I File a DBA Instead of Forming an LLC or Corporation?
While we do not provide legal advice here, we can say that we almost always prefer forming an LLC or corporation over filing a DBA. Most states don’t provide businesses with exclusive naming rights for their DBAs, meaning that if another company wants to use your assumed name, they are 100% allowed to do so. As for corporations and LLCs, they do receive exclusivity — not to mention the many other benefits of these entities, like personal asset protection and taxation advantages.