How to File a DBA in Utah in 3 Steps

A small business in Utah can use a DBA name (a "doing business as" name) to conduct business. A DBA is any name a business uses that differs from its legal name. In Utah, entrepreneurs who do business under a name other than their company's legal name must register it with Utah's Division of Corporations.

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Filing a DBA name is quick and easy in Utah. Our three simple steps will guide you through filing a DBA application to make your assumed business name legal. As you go through these steps, keep in mind that a DBA name is commonly called an "assumed name" under Utah law and on government websites.

Why File a DBA Name in Utah?

You need to file an assumed name registration whenever you want to do business under a name other than your company's legal name. An assumed name can be useful if you would like to offer a different product or service or expand into a different geographical area. To do this legally, you must register your assumed name.

Suppose you already run a business, even as a sole proprietor. In that case, you might sell a new product or service under a different name. To do this, you will need to register an assumed name with the state of Utah. If you already have an LLC, partnership (general partnership or limited partnership), or corporation, you might want to do business under a name other than the one you registered with the state.

Take, for example, a business owner named Giles, who runs a sole proprietorship of a tweed clothing company. If Giles would like to open a separate dry-cleaning business under the name “Giles' Cleaners," he should register it as a DBA.

You could run into unwanted legal hassles if you neglect registering your new business name. A Utah business cannot file or respond to a lawsuit under an unregistered assumed name. You must also pay a late fee for failing to register the name.

If you start an LLC or a corporation, consider getting a business credit card for minor expenses. This can help to protect your limited liability status by keeping your personal finances separate from your company's costs.

A DBA does not require you to get a new employer identification number (an EIN or federal tax ID number). This number is like a business's Social Security Number. The underlying entity's tax ID extends to the new business DBA name.

Sole proprietorships need an EIN to hire employees. If you do not have employees, you can run a sole proprietorship and pay your business taxes under your own Social Security Number. You can open a bank account for your company and hire employees using an EIN. DBAs in Utah are transferable.

Does a DBA Provide any Legal Protection?

No. While an assumed name is helpful for branding purposes, it is not an actual business entity. You do not receive a business license, a trademark, or any liability protection simply by registering your assumed name.

If you are just starting your business, you must form a new business entity. A limited liability company (LLC) is a good choice for most new businesses. LLCs are flexible and simple to create and have relatively low startup pricing. However, if you have many investors or would like to issue stock, you will need to start an incorporation.

Both corporations and LLCs are limited liability entities. You receive liability protection for your personal assets if you have an LLC or a corporation. This means that your house, vehicles, and other personal property have protection from debts, lawsuits, or other obligations that could arise in the course of business. You will not receive these protections if you have a sole proprietorship.

3 Steps To File a DBA in Utah

1

Conduct a Utah DBA Name Search

Your Utah assumed name must be unique and follow the Utah business name requirements.

To see if your name is unique, you should start by running a search on Utah's business name search website. After doing this, search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO's) trademark database. This will help you avoid infringing on another company's federal trademark rights.

Next, you should do a quick screening search on the Internet. Just type your assumed name into your favorite search engine to see if there are any matches. To avoid infringing on another company's unregistered trademark, you should choose a unique name that you cannot easily find on the Internet. You should also check the domain name availability if you use your assumed name for a website.

Remember that filing an assumed name registration does not secure federal trademark rights for that name. If you want stronger protection for your company's name nationwide, you should consider applying for federal trademark protection. You need a distinctive name to be successful. The USPTO offers further information to help you understand what makes a strong trademark.

Utah Naming Requirements

Regarding assumed names, there are several restrictions and requirements under Utah law. Your trade name must:

  • Be different from any other trademark or registered name in Utah
  • Not imply that your business's purpose is one other than the purpose you named in the application
  • Not contain any words that would confuse the business with a state agency
  • Do not indicate that you are affiliated with the United States Olympic Committee unless you have written authority to use it
  • Not contain an incorrectly used business entity suffix like Inc., LLC, or Corp.
  • It must not contain the following words: institute, institution, university, or college. To use one of these words, seek written permission from the Division of Consumer Protection.

In addition to requiring uniqueness, these rules generally prevent businesses from claiming incorrect affiliations and statuses.

2

Register Your DBA with the Division of Corporations

After you have completed a thorough search and are satisfied that your assumed name is unique, register it.

Details

Your assumed name registration requires basic company information. This business information is simple to gather and will not take long. You will need to provide:

  • Your requested assumed name
  • Your business's purpose
  • Your business entity number if it is already a registered business
  • Contact information for your business, the owners, and the registered agent

In addition to these business details, you must submit a $22 nonrefundable filing fee to complete your application.

Online

You can register your assumed name online through Utah's business registration website. If you have not used this service, you must create a new account using your email address.

By Mail

If you would prefer to file by mail, you can fill out the assumed name registration form. Then print it and mail it to:

State of Utah

Department of Commerce

Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code

160 S 300 E

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

3

Renew Your DBA

Your assumed name is valid for three years. You should receive a notice warning you of your assumed name expiration. However, filing your renewal early is a good policy to avoid expiration. You can renew your DBA at the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code website.

If you fail to renew your assumed name, the division of corporations places your name on an inactive name list. To avoid this, you should mark your calendar to renew your assumed name registration before the three-year anniversary of filing.

You can also do this online if something comes up and you need to modify your assumed name registration.

If something comes up and you need to make modifications to your assumed name registration, you can do this online too.

Use a Simple Process To Register Your DBA

Want to take the guesswork out of registering your DBA? Let our trusted partner LegalZoom handle your name search, DBA application filing and publishing for $99 plus filing fees.

If you would like some additional assistance with business names, business structures, licenses, or other issues, a local business attorney can help.

Disclaimer: The information presented here does not constitute legal advice or representation. It is general and educational in nature, may not reflect all recent legal developments, and may not apply to your unique facts and circumstances. Consider consulting with a qualified business attorney if you have legal questions.

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