DBA is a shortened term for ‘doing business as’. A DBA is a registered name that a company or individual uses to do business under that is not their legal name.
The legal name of a company is different depending on the business structure. For a limited liability company (LLC), the legal name defaults to the company’s name. And for sole proprietors, the legal name is the individual’s personal name.
A DBA is sometimes called a fictitious name, trade name, or assumed name. A DBA in Nebraska is mainly referred to as a trade name.
For example, if you open a business, the legal name will be your own name (e.g., Sam Robins). Sam Robins wants to open a camera store. He doesn’t want the business’s name to be his name, Sam Robins. So, he files a DBA to change the name of his business to Sam’s Cams. Sam’s Cams is now the name of the business. Nothing else about Sam’s Cams changes. The DBA just allows Sam Robins the freedom to operate under his trade name.
DBA vs assumed business name
In Nebraska, a DBA is most commonly referred to as an assumed business name. It is the legal name under which your company does business and is required by the state.
A DBA and an assumed business name are precisely the same things.
DBA vs trade name
- In Nebraska, a DBA is most commonly called a trade name.
- A trade name, or DBA, is how companies operate using a name that is not their legal name.
- Companies in any industry in Nebraska can register a DBA name. It includes sole proprietorships, LLCs, corporations, franchises, and non-profits.
- A DBA is just an alias.
- A DBA and an assumed business name are the same things.
Who needs a DBA?
Nebraska does not require businesses to have a DBA. However, it is still a best business practice to file a DBA for a variety of reasons.
- New businesses. Nebraska does not require that new businesses file a DBA. However, it is still the preferred way to operate a business under a name that is not the legal name. When a new business registers a trade name in Nebraska, it prevents others from registering that same name in the state.
- Sole proprietors. A business and its owner are the same entity. It means that they share a legal name. While Nebraska does not require sole proprietors to register a DBA, it is still a beneficial investment.
- LLCs. Nebraska does not require LLCs to acquire a DBA. However, without a DBA, every new business an LLC purchases and manages would do so under the official and legal name in most states.
- Corporations. Regularly, corporations own and operate businesses in various industries and different lines of business. A DBA allows incorporations to use trade names rather than it defaulting to the name of the corporation.
- Franchises. Most franchises utilize DBAs. For example, if you buy a Ben and Jerry’s franchise. Ben and Jerry’s is an LLC, and a new franchise would be listed as “168 Business LLC”. To change the franchise from the numerical listing to simply Ben and Jerry’s, you will need to file a DBA to alert Nebraska that you now are ‘doing business as’ the franchise.
A DBA allows small business owners and startups the creative freedom to choose their business names. A DBA also gives entrepreneurs the benefit of avoiding the expensive and complex process of forming and registering an LLC just to use a different name.
Why do you need a DBA?
- A DBA helps keep things simple for small business owners. A DBA only changes the name of a business. However, DBAs accomplish more than that. Filing a DBA is a straightforward and cost-effective way for sole proprietors to use a trade name without the complication of forming a seperate LLC or corporation.
- LLCs and corporations benefit from DBAs. A limited liability company (LLC) would have to form separate LLCs for each type of business it buys without a DBA. For example, Frank’s Fruit LLC wants to open a fruit smoothie shop named Juicy Jolt. The LLC would file a DBA to change the name, but Juicy Jolt would remain owned and operated by Frank’s Fruit LLC.
- A DBA protects the privacy of sole proprietors and general partnerships. A DBA gives small business owners the freedom to use a trade name on public-facing material rather than their personal legal name.
- A DBA makes business banking safer and more straightforward. It is always safest to open a business bank account for a new business separate from your personal account. It is recommended because it helps to protect your personal assets and credit scores. Most financial institutions require new businesses to file a DBA before opening a bank account using the business name. However, a DBA does not offer legal protection or liability protection by itself.
- A DBA keeps branding simple. Your brand name is what catches the attention of customers and clients. The company name listed on signage and business cards tells potential customers who you are and what you’re offering. For example, had Sam Robins not filed a DBA, his audience would now know he opened a camera store.
How to set up a DBA in Nebraska
Step 1 – Nebraska trade name search
A trade name in Nebraska must be unique and meet the state requirements.
You will visit the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Business Name Search database and check for the availability of your DBA name.
Step 2 – File the DBA in Nebraska with the Secretary of State
The form includes essential sections:
- The business structure of your business (LLC, corporation, sole proprietor, etc.)
- The date you first used the trade name.
- A general description of what your business does.
Secretary of State’s Office
Business Services Division (Corporations)
PO Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509
Step 3 – Pay Nebraska filing fees
The DBA cost in Nebraska is $100 for businesses of any structure.
A Nebraska DBA expires ten years after the trade name registration date.
You will need to call the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office to request a renewal form.
Nebraska Secretary of State: 402-471-4079
You can’t renew your Nebraska DBA online. The renewal processing fee is $100.
Step 4 – Publish legal notice of your Nebraska DBA
After registering your DBA name, you must publish a legal notice in an approved news publication. You must publish the notice in a local newspaper that circulates in the city, village, or county you do business.
The legal notice must include the exact information from your DBA registration application.
Nebraska DBA name restrictions
In Nebraska, a trade name can’t contain any of the following:
- Business suffixes (LLC, Corp, Incorporated, etc.) unless it is your business’ actual structure.
- Any terms relating to financial institutions such as bank, banc, trust company, etc.
- Words that insinuate or imply that your company is organized for unlawful reasons.
Forms needed to file a DBA in Nebraska
Nebraska DBA tax considerations
- In Nebraska, a DBA only changes the name of a business. It has no effect on the status of a business entity for tax purposes.
- You do not have to have a separate employer identification number. A DBA is not a separate legal entity.
- On a general level, the IRS does not require that you have a separate tax ID number.
How much does a DBA filing cost in Nebraska?
The DBA filing fee in Nebraska is $100.
Nebraska DBAs expire after ten years. The renewal cost is $100.
You will have additional fees when you publish your legal notice. The cost will depend on the newspaper’s fees for publishing an ad.
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.
It takes Nebraska 4 business days to process a DBA registration. The Secretary of State does not offer expedited services.
Nebraska allows you to change the owner’s name, contact information, and the state of incorporation by completing the Application to Amend Trade Name Registration form.
You will submit your completed form by mail. The cost for making changes to your Nebraska DBA is $10.
Secretary of State
PO Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509
You can ask for a voluntary request for cancellation by calling the Nebraska Secretary of State.
Nebraska Secretary of State Phone Number: (402) 471-4079
There is no limit on how many DBAs you can have in Nebraska. You can register as many DBAs as you can pay for and keep up with.
You must register each fictitious business name with the Nebraska Secretary of State.