The Proper Way to File a Pennsylvania DBA

Being a business owner in Pennsylvania? Do you want to manage it using a prospective name? You have an excellent opportunity to acquire a business and to conduct activities of a sole proprietor under the (DBA) name.

The process of obtaining a DBA for any official business is simple, but it requires considering several nuances. In addition, owners should be aware of the rules for using the new name registered. So, we have prepared a step-by-step guide to use the DBAs in the state under the question.

It is essential: the sole proprietor must understand that he will not receive limited liability protection, as is the case with an LLC. There are no restrictions on the number of DBAs in an LLC. You won’t experience any difficulties while doing it yourself. However, the greater the number of additional names, the more difficult it is to keep accounting correctly. Therefore, hiring an LLC website is the very best idea!

Pennsylvania DBA Application Process

All Pennsylvania residents can obtain a DBA or Fictitious Name. To do this, they need to take a few simple steps. These steps are slightly more numerous than in other states, but they are also straightforward. So, first, initiate a business name research. For convenience, do it right here

It is an essential step to instill confidence – you are the Pennsylvania sole owner of the desired brand name.    

You can apply by mail or online. The State Department requires all applicants to complete the Fictitious Name Registration form DSCB: 54-311. All applicants must indicate:

  • The DBA they want to get. Make sure you don’t use the terms corporation / limited / LLC. The limitation on the use of the terms company/cooperation does not apply;
  • Provide basic information about the nature of your business. The information must be presented in a structured way so that it is immediately clear what the company plans to do, which will use this or that DBA;
  • Please provide the exact address where the company is registered. Make sure that there are details (street, house number, etc.), as the mailbox alone will not be enough;
  • Provide the personal data of the applicant. Besides, indicate the personal data of those who are officially involved in the conduct of this business.

One cannot complete the procedure without paying a fee to the name of the Department of State – the amount of the contribution is $70. Applicants can send documents and a receipt for payment of the fee to the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations P.O. Box 8722 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722.

The final stage will be the publication of the new DBA in the newspaper. The state requires it to be published in 2 local sheets in the county to which your company refers.

Pennsylvania DBA: The Essence

At the initial stage of doing business, entrepreneurs usually use only one type of economic activity. But in the future, there is a need to diversify risks and expand the company.

So, you have to choose: open a new legal entity or apply to DBA? Sole proprietors and general partnerships may use names that differ from the owner’s name.

Limited liability companies and corporations can use several DBAs at once to have the official registered identification of their activities. Why do Pennsylvania companies acquire DBAs? The answer lies on the surface:

  1. Sole proprietorships and partnerships are a guarantee that your company is conducting official activities. A professional company will attract many more potential clients than a company that has just its name. The company can also obtain a bank account using the DBA. This way, you can separate personal assets and business. It will also be more comfortable for customers, as each sole proprietorship prefers to receive invoices in the company’s name.
  2. Corporations and LCCs use registered DBAs to use different names within the same trademark. DBA also helps to separate subsidiaries from the parent corporation. For example, this technique is prevalent in the restaurant business. One owner opens several restaurants that are unrelated. Thus, it doesn’t matter what your marketing or accounting goals are! DBAs are advisable in any case, and most importantly, they make doing business very comfortable.

So, DBA in Pennsylvania is the best opportunity for companies to make their image brighter and more recognizable. They can use a variety of tools to express themselves without wasting time on paperwork.

A Pennsylvania DBA Validity Period

Great news for Pennsylvania business owners! They can use DBA registered in this state indefinitely. However, if they wish to stop using a registered fictitious name, they must notify the Department of State.

Hiring a Professional DBA Filing Service: The Necessity

You do not need to register for a DBA yourself, as there are quite a few companies that provide this service at a professional level. They know all the subtleties. So, you will get a positive result the first time. Of course, their services are not free. They will collect all the documents on their own, and you will only need to provide them with some data. So, it’s up to you to decide what you want: save your time or money.

It is worth noting again that the requirements for obtaining a DBA in Pennsylvania are simple, and many companies fill out the official form online on their own. But if you are still too busy or are afraid to make a mistake, you can turn to LegalZoom, for example. The fees you will have to pay are very fair, and it is worth spending that money!

Final Thoughts

It makes sense to register a DBA when you need to separate several areas of business. Such a solution will make it possible to assess efficiency better, improve the quality of control over certain types of activities.

Rational use of “Doing business as” to promote a new product on the market – allows you to analyze the consumers’ reaction and not spend money on opening a new legal entity. To file a DBA will not cause additional complications.

FAQ Section

Can I get legal protection from the DBA?

– No, you cannot. DBA registration does not provide for the security of business from the point of view of jurisdiction. Personal asset protection is available through a corporation or limited company.

Is there a need for a registered agent when creating a DBA?

– If you acquire the DBA names as a sole proprietor or are a general partnership – you do not need a registered agent. However, companies and limited liability corporations must have a registered agent. The presence of DBA in the latter case does not matter.

Can different companies use the same name?

– A DBA application does not guarantee that your business will have exclusive rights to a fictitious name. The law does not prohibit all interested LLCs or corporations from using your registered name.

Is there a requirement by the State of Pennsylvania to publish the DBA name?

– Yes, it is! The state requires owners of new DBAs to publish them in two newspapers. They should also note that the district of publication must coincide with the place of registration of the company/corporation. There is more information on the issue of publishing the Pennsylvania DBA at this link.

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