In general, there are two reasons why a business would obtain a DBA:
- For sole proprietors: If you're operating your business as a sole proprietor, then you may need to file for a DBA if your business has a different name than your own name. So, let's say I've started a gardening business called Spring Flowers Gardening; I'll need to file for a DBA for "Spring Flowers Gardening."
- There are a few other details to know. In some cases, you don't need a DBA if your business name is a combination of your name and a description of your product or service. In this case, if my business was called Ricky Johnson's Gardening Service, I may not need a DBA. But, if it's just my first name (aka Ricky's Gardening Service), then a DBA may be required. If that sounds confusing, don't worry; just touch base with Henry County Superior Clerk's Office at 770-288-8022 and ask them if you'll need a DBA.
- For corporations and LLCs: If you have filed to become a corporation or LLC, then you've already registered your business name and may NOT need a DBA. However, you are encouraged to get a DBA if you plan on conducting business using a name that's different than the name filed with your LLC/corporation paperwork.
So back to my Spring Flowers business…I incorporated my business as Spring Flowers Gardening. My business will need to file a DBA in order to operate under "SpringFlowersGardening.com" or "Spring Flowers." Likewise, if I opened a Garden Shop, I'd need a DBA for "Spring Flowers Garden Shop." In short, you're encouraged to obtain a DBA to operate with any kind of variation of your original name.