How to file a DBA in Wyoming

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DBA is a shortened acronym for ‘doing business as.’ A DBA is a registered name that a company or person uses to do business under that is not the legal name.

The legal name of a company is different depending on the structure. For LLCs and corporations, it defaults to the company’s name. For sole proprietors and co-partnerships, the legal name is the full personal name of the individual(s) that owns the company.

A DBA is often referred to by other terms, including a fictitious name, assumed name, or business trade name. In Wyoming, it is most commonly called a trade name.

For instance, if you open a business, the legal name will be your name (e.g., Gail Roberts). Gail Roberts wants to open a luxury nail bar. She does not want the name of her salon to be her own name. So, Gail Roberts registers a DBA name in Wyoming to change her business name to Gail’s Glorious Nails. The business trade name is now the name of her luxury nail bar.

The Wyoming DBA changes nothing else about Gail’s Glorious Nails.

The DBA only allows Gail Roberts the freedom to operate her business using a trade name.

DBA vs trade name

  • A trade name is how businesses operate using a name that is the business’ legal name.
  • The only difference between a DBA name and a business trade name is that a DBA is only an alias.
  • A DBA must be associated with a separate legal business entity.
  • A DBA and a business trade name are the same things.

Who needs a DBA?

Wyoming does not require any business to file a DBA to operate using a trade name. The state does have a process in place, and it is recommended to register a DBA.

However, most businesses benefit from a DBA. The benefits of a DBA depend on the business structure and the personal preferences of the owner(s).

  • New businesses. Wyoming does not require new businesses to register a DBA when using a different name to operate. Wyoming DBA registration is a recommendation for all new businesses.
  • Sole proprietors. A business and its owner are the same legal entity. It means that they share a legal name unless a DBA is registered in most states.
  • LLCs. In most states, without a DBA, every new business an LLC operates would do so under the LLCs full legal name. Also, registering a trade name allows an LLC to expand and operate part of its company outside of the company name.
  • Corporations. Often, corporations buy and operate businesses in various industries. Incorporations must file a DBA to do business using a different name regardless of the type of business in most states.
  • Franchises. Most franchisees utilize DBAs. For example, if you buy a Dollar General franchise. Dollar General is an LLC. It means that a new franchise will be listed as 3657 Dollar General LLC. You must register a DBA to change the name of the franchise from the numerical listing to just Dollar General. The DBA does not change anything else about the business.

A DBA allows small business owners and startups the creative freedom to name their businesses. A DBA also gives small businesses the benefit of avoiding the cumbersome process of forming and registering a separate LLC just to use a new name.

Why do you need a DBA?

  • A DBA keeps things simple for a small business. Registering a DBA is an easy and affordable way for sole proprietors to use a business trade name without the cumbersome process of forming an LLC to operate using a name other than the full legal name.
  • A limited liability company or incorporation benefits from a DBA. Your LLC would have to form separate companies for every business it buys. For example, Lisa’s Glass LLC wants to open a windshield repair shop. It is a separate business from the LLC. In most states, Lisa’s Glass would have to file a DBA to change the business name to Window Shine. The DBA changes nothing else about the windshield repair shop.
  • A DBA addresses major privacy concerns for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. A DBA allows business owners to use a trade name on public-facing material instead of their full legal names.
  • Business banking remains accessible with a DBA. While Wyoming does not mandate DBAs for businesses, most banks require companies to file a DBA before allowing them to open a business bank account. It is safest to open a bank account for a new business because it separates your business banking account from your personal business account. It is recommended to protect personal assets and credit scores. A DBA by itself offers no legal protection or personal liability protection.
  • A DBA and a brand name go hand-in-hand. The business name you decide on for your establishment will essentially be your brand name. When you file a DBA, you’re alerting your customers to what you’re offering. For instance, had Gail Roberts not filed a DBA, no one would know she opened a luxury nail bar.

How to set up a DBA in Wyoming

Step 1 – Wyoming trade name search

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

You will search the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website to check for trade name availability.

You must use the trade name before you can register it. You can use the business name for up to 120 days.

Step 2 – File your Wyoming DBA with the Secretary of State

You will complete the Application for Reservation of Trade Name and submit it by mail to the Wyoming Secretary of State.

Your Application for Reservation of Trade name will ask you for specific details:

  • The trade name you’re registering.
  • A complete description of your business.
  • The date you first used your trade name in Wyoming.

Wyoming Secretary of State

2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 700

Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020

Phone number: 307-777-7311

Step 3 – Pay Wyoming DBA filing fees

The DBA cost in Wyoming is $100. A DBA expires every ten years and requires renewal.

You will complete the Application for Renewal of Trade Name Registration and submit it by mail to the Wyoming Secretary of State.

The renewal fee for a Wyoming DBA is $50.

Wyoming DBA name restrictions

In Wyoming, a DBA name can’t contain any of the following:

  • Business entity suffixes such as LLC, incorporation, Inc, etc., unless it is your actual business structure.
  • Finance-related words such as bank, banker, trust, etc, without prior approval from the Wyoming Division of Banking.
  • Academic-related words such as college, education, university, etc, without prior approval from the Wyoming Department of Education.

Forms needed to file a DBA in Wyoming

Wyoming DBA tax considerations

  • In Wyoming, registering a DBA only changes the name of a business.
  • Registering a DBA has no effect on the status of a business entity for tax purposes.
  • You do not have to have a separate employer identification number because a DBA is not a separate legal entity.
  • The IRS does not require that you have a separate tax ID number.

How much does a DBA filing cost in Wyoming?

The DBA filing fee in Wyoming is $100. It expires every ten years and requires renewal.

The DBA renewal fee is $50.

The Wyoming Secretary of State Business Divison does not offer any expedited services.

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

It takes Wyoming up to fifteen business days to process a DBA. The state does not offer any expedited services.

You cannot make amendments to your Wyoming DBA. You will need to fill out a new Application for Reservation of Trade name and submit it by mail to the Secretary of State.

The DBA cost is $100.

You can cancel your Wyoming DBA by completing the Cancellation of Trade Name and submitting it to the Secretary of State.

The cost to withdraw your Wyoming DBA is $10.

Wyoming Secretary of State

2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 700

Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020

  • In Wyoming, you can register as many business trade names as you require and keep up with them.
  • You must follow the same process when you register for every DBA.
  • The Wyoming Secretary of State Business Division must approve all trade names.
  • A DBA and a trademark are two different things.
  • Registering a trade name in Wyoming protects others in the state from using the same one.
  • A DBA allows businesses to use a fictitious business name that is not their legal name.
  • A trademark is a type of intellectual property registration that protects a business’ brand.
  • A trademark does protect your brand name in both the state and the country.

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