How to File a DBA in Idaho

What is a DBA (doing business as)?

The acronym for DBA means ‘doing business as.’ A DBA is any registered name that a company or person uses to do business that is not its legal name.

The legal of a business differs depending on its business structure. For LLCs and incorporations, the legal name is the company’s name. For sole proprietors, the legal name defaults to a business owner’s own name.

A DBA only changes the name of a business.

DBAs are also commonly called fictitious names, trade names, or assumed business names. In Idado, a DBA is most commonly referred to as an assumed business name.

For example, if you own a business, its legal name is your own name (e.g., Fred Jones). Fred Jones wants to open a flower shop. He knows he can’t use his personal legal name because people won’t know what he sells. So, Fred Jones files a DBA name in Idaho for Fred’s Flowers. It is now his assumed business name. The DBA changes nothing else about Fred’s Flowers’s business structure or legal entity.

Fred Williams now operates under the new name Fred’s Flowers and no longer defaults to his personal legal name.

DBA vs assumed business name

  • In Idaho, a DBA is most commonly called an assumed business name.
  • Companies in any industry can register a DBA. It includes sole-proprietorships, LLCs, corporations, franchises, and non-profits.
  • A DBA is just a business alias. It means that a DBA and an assumed business name are the same things.

Who needs a DBA?

In Idaho, all sole proprietors, LLCs, partnerships, and corporations register a DBA name if they want to operate a company under an assumed business name that isn’t its legal name.

A DBA can benefit any type of business and is dependent on your business entity and personal preferences. 

  • New businesses. Idaho requires all new businesses to file a DBA if they wish to operate using an assumed business name. 
  • Sole proprietors. Without a DBA, the business name defaults to the owner’s personal name because they share the same entity with the company. 
  • LLCS. Limited liability companies (LLCs) regularly expand and operate businesses with different names. In Idaho, your LLC must file for a DBA name if you want to operate a business using any name that isn’t your company’s name.
  • Corporations. In Idaho, corporations that wish to operate a business using a name that is not their company must file a DBA name. Most commonly, corporations use DBAs when they open and operate businesses in different industries.
  • Franchises. Franchises use DBAs to operate under a name that is not the LLC name. For example, if you purchase a Dominoes franchise, it is formed as an LLC and listed as 564 Dominoes LLC. To shorten the business’s name from its numerical listing, you file a DBA. Also, it lets Idaho know that you’re now the owner of a Dominoes franchise.

Small business owners and startups benefit from filing a DBA the most. It gives individuals the ability to name their business what they want without the hassle of forming a separate LLC just to use an assumed business name.

Why do you need a DBA?

  • A DBA helps small business owners avoid the complication of forming an LLC. A DBA is an easy and inexpensive way for a sole proprietorship to operate using an assumed business name.
  • LLCs and corporations benefit from DBAs. A DBA allows LLCs the freedom to operate various businesses without forming a separate LLC for each company they operate. For example, if Tam’s Fruit LLC opens a juice bar called Fresh Squeeze. The LLC must register the DBA name Fresh Squeeze in Idaho. 
  • A DBA protects the privacy of sole proprietors and co-partnerships. Sole proprietors and general partnerships must put their own names on public-facing material unless they register a DBA name in Idaho.
  • DBAs separate personal assets from business assets. A DBA does not offer any legal protections or liability protection. However, a DBA does prove that your business assets and personal assets are independent of each other, which decreases personal liability.
  • DBAs simplify business banking. Banks and financial institutions require that you file a DBA to open a separate business bank account. Opening a separate business account also protects your personal assets and credit scores.
  • DBAs make branding and marketing easier in Idaho. The name of your business is the first thing that a customer notices. It is your brand name and how you market your services. For example, customers would not know that Fred Jones ran a flower shop without a DBA. Instead, his Idaho DBA uses the assumed name Fred’s Flowers.

How to set up a DBA in Idaho

Step 1 – Idaho assumed business name search

All Idaho DBA names must be unique and meet the state requirements.

You will search the Idaho Secretary of State’s Business Search to check the availability of the assumed business name you wish to use.

Step 2 – File your Idaho DBA

You must register your DBA on a state level with the Idaho Secretary of State. 

You can file online using the Idaho Secretary of State SOSbiz Website. Or, you can download and submit a hard copy of the Certificate of Assumed Business Name by mail or in person.

Mailing address:

Office of the Secretary of State

PO Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720-0080

Office address:

Office of the Secretary of State

450 N. 4th Street

Boise ID 83702

Idaho Secretary of State – 208-334-2301

Step 3 – Idaho DBA filing fees

The DBA cost in Idaho is $25. You will have an additional $20 processing fee if you file the hard copy by mail or in person.

A DBA in Idaho does not expire and does not require renewal.

Idaho DBA name restrictions

  • Business entity suffixes such as LLC, incorporation, Inc, etc., unless it is your actual business structure.
  • Words related to banking institutions, such as bank, bank trust, etc.
  • Any language or words that falsely imply or insinuate government affiliation.

Forms needed to file a DBA in Idaho

Idaho DBA tax considerations

A DBA only changes your business name in Idaho, so there are no tax considerations.

The IRS does not require you to obtain a separate employer identification number or tax ID for a DBA.

How much does a DBA filing cost in Idaho?

The DBA cost in Idaho is $25. There is an additional processing fee of $20 if you file your DBA by mail or in person.

A DBA in Idaho does not expire and does not require renewal.

You must cancel a DBA name if you no longer are using it. You must fill out the Cancellation or Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Business Name and submit it with the $20 processing fee to the Idaho Secretary of State.

Professional DBA filing services

  • ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness is an affordable solution for entrepreneurs, such as affordable LLC formations, and incorporations. ZenBusiness does offer a stand-alone registered agent service for $99 a year.
  • Swyft Filings: Swyft Filings is a quality DBA service. They assign a registered agent to every client, making them a customer favorite. Swyft Filings offers a DBA obtainment package that costs $99 plus state fees.
  • LegalZoom: LegalZoom does it all. The purpose of its design is to be a “one-stop-shop” for small businesses and their legal needs.
  • MyCompanyWorks: MyCompanyWorks doesn’t have the experience that other professional DBA obtainment services have. However, they’ve served thousands of businesses successfully. MyCompanyWorks offers one DBA filing package for $99 plus state fees. You can add a couple of extras for additional fees.
  • CorpNet: Corpnet’s biggest draw is that they have the best customers. It is hard to find a bad review about their DBA obtainment services.
  • MyCorporation: MyCorporation has served over a million businesses over the last 20+ years. Their customer reviews reflect their longevity and success. The cost of MyCorportation DBA services is $99 plus State Fees. The expedited rush service is an additional $100.
  • BizFilings: BizFilings offers entrepreneurs and small businesses services, such as LLC filing and incorporation services.  The starting price of $99 plus state fees for BizFilings DBA obtainment services is pretty standard. However, it doesn’t include a namecheck in states that require them. Alabama does.

FAQs

The Idaho Secretary of State takes 7-10 days to process DBA registration. The time frame is the same whether you file online, by mail, or in person.

In Idaho, you are allowed to register as many DBA names as you desire. You must follow the same process with each one and must be approved by the Idaho Secretary of State.

To make changes to your Idaho DBA, you must fill out and submit the Cancellation or Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Business Name

The fee for making amendments to your Idaho DBA is $10 if you file online. There is an additional $20 processing fee if you submit the form by mail or in person.

The form must be submitted to:

Office of the Secretary of State

450 N 4th Street

PO Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720-0080

A DBA does not expire in Idaho. You must cancel the assumed name if you are no longer using it.

To cancel your Idaho DBA, you must fill out the Cancellation or Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Business Name and submit it with a $20 processing fee.

The form must be submitted to:

Office of the Secretary of State

450 N 4th Street

PO Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720-0080 

The assumed name you choose for your business is essential in your branding arsenal. It is cost-effective and establishes a brand name with only the cost of a DBA in Idaho.

You should pick a distinctive and unique DBA name that represents your business and alerts potential customers about what you’re selling.

A DBA name in Idaho must be unique and meet the state requirements.

It is always ideal to check the availability of a web domain (URL) to keep marketing seamless. If the URL is available, reserve it so you can prevent others from using the web domain you desire.

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