How to File a DBA in Delaware: 4 Simple Steps in 2024

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    Looking to learn about the importance of a DBA registration in Delaware and the process involved? You’ve come to the right place.

    Known as “Doing Business As,” obtaining a DE DBA allows entrepreneurs to use an alternative business name for various purposes, such as marketing, sales, and legal matters. In some states, this may be referred to as a fictitious name, assumed name, trade name, or similar terms.

    Unlike forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), registering a DBA does not establish a formal business structure nor provide comparable advantages. Often, opting for an LLC registration in Delaware proves more beneficial due to tax advantages and legal protections.

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    What is a Delaware DBA? 

    DBA, which stands for “Doing Business As,” is referred to as a trade name or fictitious name in Delaware. These terms have the same meaning. Suppose your business wants to operate under a different name than its legal business name. In that case, you must register a DBA in each county where your business operates in Delaware. It’s important to note that while a DBA can be used for business purposes, it’s not considered a separate entity. Rather, it’s simply a name that businesses can use.

    Having a Delaware DBA provides businesses with the flexibility to add new brand names or expand their product lines without needing to establish an entirely new entity with the state. For businesses that haven’t registered with the state (such as sole proprietors and general partnerships), having a DBA allows them to market their services more effectively by using an imaginative business name instead of conducting business under their personal names.

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    Why Register a Delaware DBA?

    Operating a business in Delaware does not necessitate having a DBA. Many business owners conduct their operations using their legal business name. However, if you wish to operate under a different name, it’s necessary to register for a DBA.

    There are several reasons why obtaining a Delaware DBA may be beneficial:

    If you’re operating as a sole proprietor or a general partnership, it’s mandatory to include the owner’s full name in your business name unless you register a DBA. In the case of general partnerships, their legal name defaults to the last names of the owners unless specified otherwise in their partnership agreement.

    So, if you don’t want your skydiving school to be called “Joe Smith Skydiving” or your taco truck to bear the name “Johnson and Riley Tacos,” it would be wise to consider getting a DBA registered in Delaware.

    When your business is going through rebranding or launching a new product line, obtaining a DBA can be beneficial if you decide to shift focus and expand services. Let’s say Jen Smith started her dog-sitting venture but also wants to provide dog training as an additional service.

    By registering “Puppy Paws Dog Training” as her trade name in Delaware, Jen will have better marketing opportunities for her business toward potential customers. As a sole proprietor, she has the option of continuing her dog-sitting operations under her own name or registering another trade name specifically for that side of her business venture.

    Please note that registering a trade name in Delaware does not provide absolute protection against another business using the same name. To enhance the legal standing of your name, you have the option to apply for a federal trademark for your DBA (Doing Business As) name.

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    Why Opt for Professional Assistance in Registering a DBA in Delaware?

    When it comes to registering a DBA in Delaware, several important steps must be followed to ensure a smooth and successful registration process. It’s crucial to avoid any mistakes during these procedures, as they can lead to the rejection of your application or even more serious consequences. The state authorities in Delaware have the power to impose fines or even force your business to close if you improperly use a name in legal or business contexts.

    To alleviate any concerns and uncertainties related to the DBA process, professional services are available. These experts have extensive knowledge of Delaware’s specific requirements and can assist you in choosing an ideal name before beginning the necessary paperwork. In addition, these companies offer various services, such as LLC filing, which can be extremely valuable as your business grows.

    After conducting thorough research, we have identified the top professional LLC services that cater specifically to your DBA needs in Delaware:

    Setting up a DBA in Delaware

    Fortunately, in Delaware, you’re required to register your trade name or DBA separately in each of the state’s three counties: Kent, New Castle, and Sussex. The Registration of Trade, Business & Fictitious Name Certificate is the common form utilized for this purpose. The cost for registration is $25 per county. To successfully file your Delaware trade name, follow these steps diligently.

    Step 1 – See if Your Delaware Trade Name is Available

    Before you begin registering your trade name in Delaware, it’s important to ensure that no other businesses are already using the name you desire. To do this, you should search the Delaware Trade, Business & Fictitious Name database to determine if your desired name is available.

    It’s crucial to note that your trade name in Delaware must not include:

    • Avoid using any business entity suffix, like LLC, Incorporated, Corp, etc., unless the business is genuinely structured as an LLC, corporation, etc.
    • Refrain from using the term “bank” or any similar variation unless the company holds authorization as a bank from the state. However, the term “bank,” or its variations, may be permissible if the context does not pertain to a banking enterprise or misleads the public regarding the nature of the business.

    It’s advisable to verify the availability of your name as a web domain (URL). While you may not have immediate plans to create a business website, it’s important to safeguard against others obtaining your URL.

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    Step 2 – Complete an Application to Register a Trade Name

    To file your Registration of Trade, Business, & Fictitious Name Certificate with the county, you’ll need to provide your:

    • Trade name
    • County
    • Business address
    • Phone number
    • Parent company (if applicable)
    • Names of all owners, members, or partners
    • The date you started doing business 
    • A brief description of your business activity

    Note: Your application must be notarized, and the information you list will be made public on the Delaware name search database.

    File the Form and Pay the Filing Fee

    Once you’re prepared to submit your application for a trade name in Delaware, you will need to provide the Registration of Trade, Business, & Fictitious Name Certificate along with a payment of $25 per county. It’s possible to send the necessary documentation via mail using a paper form.

    Kent County:

    Kent County Courthouse


    Superior Court

    38 The Green

    Dover, DE 19901

    New Castle:

    Leonard L. Williams Justice Center


    Superior Court

    500 North King Street, Suite 500, LL1

    Wilmington, DE 19801-3746


    Sussex County Courthouse


    Superior Court

    1 The Circle, Suite 2

    Georgetown, DE 19947

    If you plan to register your Trade, Business, & Fictitious Name Certificate for DBA in more than one county, you will have to complete a separate form and make a payment of $25 for each county. This means that if you want to register in all three counties, the total fee would be $75. Additionally, if you wish to register multiple DBAs, you will need to submit individual applications for each one.

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    Step 3 – Implement Your DBA Name in Delaware

    After completing all the necessary arrangements for your Delaware DBA, it becomes crucial to market your new business identity or inform others about any changes made to an existing business name. The formal adoption of your DBA in Delaware represents a higher level of professionalism for your company.

    Regardless of whether Delaware requires an official publication of your fictitious name or not, utilizing local newspapers can be a highly effective way to spread the word about your updated business name. To determine the exact rules and guidelines regarding how long and what content needs to be included, get in touch with the county clerk’s office.

    Local newspapers are well acquainted with the necessary publishing guidelines and frequently offer templates for such ads. It’s your duty to provide your business’s official name, the selected DBA (Doing Business As) name, and contact information for your company.

    The cost of publication may differ depending on how often it is published and the county in Delaware where you’re conducting business. Once terms have been agreed upon, confirm the dates when your company will appear in the newspaper and make sure that it is published accurately. If any information is discovered to be missing or incorrect, promptly inform the newspaper.

    Step 4 – Manage Your Delaware DBA

    Renew Your Delaware DBA

    You don’t have to renew your Delaware business name.

    Change Your Delaware DBA

    If you want to modify your DBA, simply complete the Supplemental Change Form and pay a $25 filing fee.

    Withdraw Your Delaware DBA

    If you want to modify your DBA, simply complete the Supplemental Change Form and pay a $25 filing fee.

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    Best DBA Filing Services to Register Fictitious Name in Delaware – DE DBA

    Discover the top-notch options available for registering a made-up name in Delaware.

    Business Rocket logo

    Business Rocket is an invaluable resource for individuals seeking to file a Doing Business As (DBA) in Delaware. This platform has been designed specifically to assist entrepreneurs and business owners, offering them a user-friendly and seamless experience.

    The intricate paperwork associated with DBA registration in Delaware is simplified by Business Rocket, thanks to its intuitive online tools and step-by-step guidance.

    The main goal of Business Rocket is to streamline the entire process, guiding users through the legal requirements while ensuring that their chosen business name remains unique and compliant with Delaware regulations.

    With features like document preparation and filing assistance, Business Rocket makes the DBA registration process smooth and hassle-free, providing support for individuals as they establish their presence in Delaware.

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    Northwest Registered Agent logo

    Northwest Registered Agent is a trusted choice for various legal services, specializing in DBA filings in Delaware. As a registered agent service, they provide businesses with a physical address that meets the state’s requirements for operating under an alternate name.

    In addition to DBA filings, Northwest Registered Agent offers various compliance services, including annual report submissions and mail forwarding. This holistic approach ensures that businesses remain in good standing with the state by taking care of administrative tasks, allowing business owners to dedicate their time and energy to growing their enterprises.

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    ZenBusiness is a platform dedicated to providing comprehensive business services to entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey, including the process of filing a DBA in Delaware. With a focus on simplicity and affordability, ZenBusiness offers an easily accessible online platform that guides users through the necessary steps for registering a DBA in Delaware.

    In addition to conducting name availability checks, this service also prepares all required documentation and submits filings to the appropriate authorities in Delaware. 

    Moreover, ZenBusiness offers ongoing support with compliance matters beyond just registration assistance. This makes it an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs looking for a hassle-free and compliant way to establish their business identity in the state.

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    Comparison between Delaware DBA and Delaware LLC

    A Delaware LLC, also known as a Limited Liability Company, is a formal business structure that necessitates registration with the Secretary of State in Delaware. When you establish a Delaware LLC, you’re creating a separate legal entity that distinguishes your personal assets from those belonging to the business.

    This separation becomes beneficial in case of any legal disputes since it safeguards your personal assets from being targeted if the LLC faces a lawsuit. The liability is limited only to the assets owned by the LLC, providing an additional layer of protection for your personal finances.

    To start a Delaware LLC, the first step involves registering this entity with the state. This process requires compliance with specific requirements specified by the Secretary of State.

    On the flip side, a Delaware DBA, also known as Doing Business As, does not establish its own independent legal entity. Instead, it serves as an alias or fictional name used by a business that operates under a different name than its official one.

    Unlike an LLC (Limited Liability Company), a DBA doesn’t offer the same level of protection against liability. If your goal is to protect your personal assets from potential legal claims, it’s essential to establish a separate entity like an LLC.

    We provide comprehensive assistance in forming and maintaining your Delaware LLC, ensuring that your business complies with state regulations and takes advantage of limited liability benefits for years to come.

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    File a DBA in Delaware – Frequently Asked Questions

    If you’re still unsure about how to file a DBA in Delaware, continue reading to find the information you need. We may have the answers you’re searching for.

    Conclusion – File a DBA in Delaware 

    To summarize, successfully handling the procedure of submitting a DBA in Delaware can be achieved by following our detailed four-step manual. Discover the ease and efficiency of Business Rocket, a trustworthy service that simplifies the DBA filing process for a smooth experience. Allow Business Rocket to assist you in establishing your business’s identity, saving valuable time and ensuring accuracy throughout the process.

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