How to Set Up a DBA in Louisiana in 2024: 4 Simple Steps

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    Are you curious about the procedures for filing a DBA in Louisiana? You’ve come to the right place. In Louisiana, a “doing business as” (DBA) allows business owners to operate under an alternative name for various purposes, such as marketing and legal activities. 

    Unlike formal business structures like Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), a DBA isn’t its legal entity but provides flexibility when choosing a business name.

    While opting for a DBA in Louisiana may benefit certain ventures, considering alternatives like forming an LLC could offer additional tax advantages and legal protections. Now, let’s delve into the necessary steps in filing a DBA in Louisiana.

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    What Is a Louisiana DBA (Trade Name) 

    A DBA, or “doing business as,” is a name that a business operates under, which differs from its legal business name. In Louisiana, these are known as trade names, while in other states, they may be referred to as assumed or fictitious names.

    A DBA allows businesses to establish and uphold their professional image, mainly through marketing and banking. In Louisiana, trade names are registered at the state level, although registration isn’t mandatory. However, businesses in Louisiana should consider registering their DBAs to protect their interests and maintain transparency.

    What’s Unique About DBA Registration in Louisiana?

    In Louisiana, it’s possible to use a DBA without registering the name with the state. Registering your trade name shows to other businesses that you’re actively using that particular name, potentially dissuading them from attempting to adopt the same identity.

    It’s within your prerogative to register a trade name either before or after initiating its usage.

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    Why Register a DBA in Louisiana?

    While registering isn’t mandatory, compelling incentives exist for submitting a DBA in Louisiana.

    You’re a Sole Proprietor

    If you’re a sole proprietor, your legal business name will be your personal name. There exists no legal distinction between a sole proprietor and their business. By obtaining a Doing Business As (DBA), you can opt for a more descriptive or professional name instead of your own name. 

    For instance, “Crawdad Daddy’s” rather than Henry Broussard. Registering your DBA will notify other businesses that this particular name has been taken while safeguarding your brand.

    Market your Business

    DBAs serve as valuable marketing assets, particularly when looking to expand or rebrand your business. 

    Whether you aim to launch a new product line or completely pivot your business strategy, opting for a trade name registration instead of setting up an entirely new entity can be cost-effective. For instance, in Louisiana, forming an LLC costs $100, while registering a trade name only requires $75.

    By formally registering your trade name, you assert ownership and gain the ability to establish and promote your brand and public image effectively. There are various ways to leverage your trade name for marketing purposes:

    • On websites and social media profiles
    • On signage, business cards, and promotional materials
    • In advertising campaigns
    • On Merchandise

    If you conduct business using your domain name, you also have the option to register that name as a DBA.

    Open a Business Bank Account

    Registering your DBA serves another purpose, as opening a business bank account is often required, especially with larger banks. Some banks may ask for proof of registration under the desired name, while others may only need confirmation that you’re actively using the name. 

    To get specific details on their requirements, contact your bank directly. Having a business bank account in your DBA name gives you a more professional image, and can conveniently send and receive payments using that designated name.

    Registering a trade name in Louisiana doesn’t automatically protect it from another business’s use. For stronger legal protection over your brand identity, you can apply for federal trademark registration for your DBA name. This will provide additional rights and safeguards for your business name at the national level.

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    Why Opt for Professional Assistance in Filing a DBA in Louisiana?

    The registration process for a Doing Business As (DBA) in Louisiana involves several essential steps to ensure a smooth and successful registration. Navigate these procedures carefully, as any mistakes can lead to the rejection of an application or even more serious consequences. 

    The state authorities in Louisiana have the power to impose fines or potentially shut down a business if they find improper use of a name in legal or business contexts.

    To ease your concerns and uncertainties throughout the DBA process, professional services are available to provide invaluable assistance. These LLC services possess extensive knowledge of Louisiana’s specific requirements and can help you select an ideal name before initiating the necessary paperwork. 

    They offer various other services, including guidance with Limited Liability Company (LLC) filing, which can be extremely beneficial as your business expands.

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

    How to set up a DBA in Louisiana

    Step 1: Start with a Louisiana Trade Name Search

    Ensure that your Louisiana trade name is both distinctive and complies with the business name regulations of Louisiana.

    Begin by visiting the website of the Louisiana Secretary of State to verify if your desired DBA (Doing Business As) name is currently in use. Following that, familiarize yourself with the naming criteria specific to Louisiana. Note that your trade name in Louisiana shouldn’t incorporate certain elements.

    • Avoid using any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp., etc., unless the business is genuinely an LLC, corporation, etc.
    • Don’t include words like bank, banker, banking, savings, safe deposit, trust, trustee, building and loan, homestead, or credit union without approval from the Louisiana Commissioner of the Office of Financial Institutions.
    • Steer clear of words that falsely imply your company is a charity, nonprofit, or government organization.
    • Refrain from using words like “casualty,” “redevelopment corporation,” or “electrical cooperative.”
    • Seek approval from the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board before using words like “engineer,” “engineering,” “surveyor,” and “surveying” (or any variations).
    • Avoid words that suggest the company is organized for any unlawful purpose, and refrain from using words that consist of or comprise immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matters.

    Verify the availability of your name as a web domain (URL). While you may not have immediate plans to create a business website, protecting your URL from being obtained by others is wise.

    Step 2: Register Your Louisiana DBA

    Before registering your trade name in Louisiana, you must be using it. However, if you haven’t started using your trade name yet, Louisiana allows you to reserve it before registration. 

    If you’re interested in reserving a DBA (Doing Business As) for your company, two methods are available: online reservation or submitting the Application for Reservation of Trade Name form. The reservation fee is $25, and once processed, the trade name will be reserved for 120 days.

    To register your Louisiana trade name, there are two options: online registration through the geauxBIZ website or mailing the Application to Register Trade Name form.

    The Application to Register Trade Name, Trademark, or Service Mark must be completed next. This application requires specific information that needs to be provided accurately and thoroughly.

    • Your official business name
    • The state of incorporation if you own a corporation
    • The physical address and PO Box of your business (if applicable)
    • Your trade name
    • The nature of the goods or services offered
    • The date when you initially began using the trade name

    Furthermore, it’s essential to mark “original filing” at the beginning of the form to indicate the registration of a fresh trade name. This form must be notarized as well.

    In the cover letter accompanying this submission, ensure that you provide your name and address as the filer so that any correspondence regarding the filing can be sent directly to you.

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    Step 3: File the Form and Pay the Fee

    Option 1: File Online with the Louisiana geauxBIZ Website

    Option 2: File the Application to Register Trade Name by Mail or In-Person


    $75 Filing Fee

    $300 24-hour Expediting Fee

    Office Address:

    Louisiana Secretary of State

    8585 Archives Ave.

    Baton Rouge, LA 70809

    Mailing Address:

    Commercial Division

    P.O. Box 94125

    Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

    Step 4: Manage Your Louisiana Trade Name

    Renew Your Trade Name With the State

    After a decade, your Louisiana trade name will no longer be valid. To continue using it, you can renew it online or by completing and submitting this form. Please note that there’s a filing fee of $75 associated with the renewal process.

    You can mail the completed form to the address below:

    Commercial Division

    P.O. Box 94125

    Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

    Or, you can deliver it in-person to the Secretary of State’s office:

    Louisiana Secretary of State

    8585 Archives Ave.

    Baton Rouge, LA 70809

    Change Your Trade Name

    If you need help in modifying your DBA, reach out to the Commercial Division of the Louisiana Secretary of State.

    Withdraw Your Trade Name

    If you require assistance in withdrawing your DBA, the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Commercial Division can be contacted for support.

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    Best DBA Filing Services to Register Fictitious Name in Louisiana – LA DBA

    Discover top-notch services designed to register a made-up name in Louisiana.

    Business Rocket logo

    BusinessRocket is an invaluable asset for those registering a Doing Business As (DBA) in Louisiana. This meticulously designed platform is tailored to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners, offering a seamless and user-friendly experience. 

    By simplifying the often complex paperwork associated with DBA registration in Louisiana, BusinessRocket provides intuitive online tools and step-by-step guidance.

    The primary goal of BusinessRocket is to streamline the entire process, helping individuals navigate through legal requirements while ensuring their chosen business name is unique and compliant with Louisiana regulations. 

    With helpful features like document preparation and filing assistance, BusinessRocket facilitates a hassle-free DBA registration process, empowering individuals to establish their presence in Louisiana effortlessly.

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    Northwest Registered Agent logo

    Northwest Registered Agent is widely recognized for its wide array of legal services, encompassing DBA filings in Louisiana. As a registered agent service, Northwest offers a reliable option by providing a physical address in Louisiana that fulfills the state’s requirements for having a designated location. This is important for businesses operating under an alternative name.

    In addition to DBA filings, Northwest Registered Agent offers various compliance services like annual report submissions and mail forwarding. 

    By taking this comprehensive approach, Northwest ensures that businesses can maintain their good standing with the state while alleviating business owners of administrative burdens. This allows them to concentrate on the growth and advancement of their enterprises.

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    ZenBusiness has positioned itself as a comprehensive business services platform that offers support to entrepreneurs in every aspect of their journey, including filing a DBA in Louisiana. With a focus on simplicity and affordability, ZenBusiness provides an easy-to-use online platform that guides users through the necessary steps for registering a DBA in Louisiana.

    This service allows users to check the availability of names, prepare all required documentation, and submit filings to the appropriate authorities in Louisiana. 

    ZenBusiness offers ongoing support for compliance matters, making it an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs who want to establish their business identity hassle-free and with full compliance in the state of Louisiana.

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    Louisiana DBA vs Louisiana LLC

    When deciding between a Doing Business As (DBA) and a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Louisiana, there are several factors to consider, including legal structure, liability protection, and operational flexibility.

    In Louisiana, a DBA isn’t an independent legal entity but rather allows a business to operate under a different name than its registered business name. By registering a DBA, businesses can conduct their operations using an alternate name without the need to create a separate legal entity. 

    This option is often chosen by sole proprietors or partnerships who wish to operate under a business name other than their own personal names.

    Forming an LLC in Louisiana establishes its own distinct legal entity that provides limited liability protection for its members. This means that the personal assets of LLC members are typically protected from any liabilities incurred by the business itself, thus reducing individual risk. 

    An LLC offers flexible management options as it can be managed directly by its members or appoint managers to handle day-to-day operations.

    Deciding whether to go with a DBA or an LLC is contingent upon various factors, including the desired level of liability protection, business structure, and long-term objectives. A DBA is an easier option for individuals who prioritize having a unique business name without the complications of a separate legal entity. 

    However, opting for an LLC is recommended if one seeks enhanced legal protection and organizational framework for their business along with greater flexibility. Ultimately, the choice between a Louisiana DBA and an LLC should align with the specific requirements and goals of the business owner.

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    File a DBA in Louisiana – Frequently Asked Questions

    If you’re looking for information on how to file a DBA in Louisiana, keep reading to discover the responses you’re searching for.

    Conclusion – File a DBA in Louisiana

    You can accomplish a seamless and effective DBA filing process in Louisiana by following our detailed four-step guide. For a more convenient and straightforward experience, consider using BusinessRocket, a trustworthy service that simplifies the DBA filing process.

    Choose BusinessRocket as your partner in establishing and strengthening your business’s identity. By doing so, you will not only save time but also ensure meticulous accuracy throughout the entire registration procedure.

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