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A New York DBA (doing business as) is called an assumed name. Getting a New York DBA registration won’t protect your personal assets. Forming a formal business structure like LLC or corporation will give you liability protection along with a business name.

Forming an LLC is often the best choice for most small businesses, but this guide covers the steps for all entity types

To get started with a New York DBA, choose your business entity type:

  • Sole Proprietorship or Partnership (if your business is not a formal structure)
  • LLC, Corporation, or LLP (if your business has a formal structure such as LLC or corporation)

We’ll cover the steps to file a DBA for a sole proprietorship or general partnership first, then we’ll go over the similar steps and differences for an LLC or corporation.

 

File a DBA in NY for a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership

General partnerships and sole proprietors are required to file their New York DBA with the County Clerk in the county that their business is located. Estates and real estate investment companies are also required to file with the county.

A general partnership is a business formed by two or more people, without a formal business structure. A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single individual that isn’t formally organized. In either case, the name of the business is the same as the name of the owners. A DBA can be useful in these cases for changing the name of the business to a more marketable name.

A DBA is only used for branding—it doesn’t offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For this reason, we strongly recommend that a DBA should only be used by a formal business structure such as an LLC or corporation for the purpose of adding new brands to an existing business. 

If you are running an informal business (sole proprietorship or partnership), we strongly suggest forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets. The name of the LLC can be selected to act as the brand name for the business.

 

New York Sole Proprietorship/General Partnership DBA Step 1: Start With an Assumed Name Search

New York assumed names must be unique and must also meet New York’s business name requirements.

First, visit the New York Department of State’s website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

Next, review the New York naming requirements. In New York, assumed names should NOT include:

  • Words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.)
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) that may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your business.

Learn more about NY naming guidelines on the Department of State’s website.

We also recommend checking if your name is available as a web domain (URL). You might not plan on starting a business website today, but you may want to prevent others from acquiring your URL. You can search for and reserve your domain name at a site like GoDaddy.com.

New York Sole Proprietorship/General Partnership DBA Step 2: File with the County Clerk

Sole proprietors and partnerships are required to file a business certificate with the appropriate county clerk’s office(s) in order to operate under a DBA. You must file in any county where your business conducts or transacts business.

In New York State, ALL PARTNERSHIPS must register a “Business Certificate for Partnerships” with the appropriate county clerk’s office(s) regardless of the name they operate under. 

In this section, we give you step-by-step directions to get a New York County DBA (Manhattan). If your sole proprietorship or partnership does business outside of Manhattan, you can find your counties’ contact information from the New York State Association of Counties.

Filing a DBA in NYC Contact Information:

  • Kings County:  (347) 404-9750
  • Bronx County: (718) 590-3648
  • Richmond County: (718) 675-8910
  • Queens County: (718) 298-0601
  • New York County: (646) 386-5955

How to File a New York County DBA

Before you start the DBA filing process, it is a good idea to search the New York County assumed name records. The assumed name records can be found at the New York County courthouse basement at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan.

The business certificate is X-74 for partnerships and X-201 for sole proprietorships. The county does NOT provide Business Certificate forms. Business owners are advised to purchase them in the lobby of the courthouse in Manhattan or at a legal stationery store.

FILE YOUR NY COUNTY BUSINESS CERTIFICATE

Learn More About Filing Form X-74 and X-201 With the New York State Unified Court System

READ INSTRUCTIONS

Cost: 

$100 Filing Fee

$10 Certified Copy 

Office Address:

60 Centre St.

Room 161

New York, NY 10007

Note: The County Clerk accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. No personal or company checks are accepted.

Managing Your New York County DBA

New York DBA Questions

Call NY County at (646) 386-5955 for general questions about business certificates, assumed names, and DBA requirements.

Renew Your New York DBA

Your NY County business certificate does not expire.

Change Your New York DBA

To make changes to your business certificate, visit the County Clerk’s office to complete an amendment document. The New York County Clerk will supply the document and the fee to register is $121. Before heading to the County Clerk’s office, call (646) 386-5955 to confirm the process and requirements for the type of change needed.

Withdraw Your New York DBA

Register the Certificate of Discontinuance of Assumed Name Form with the New York County Clerk. For directions on how to get this form, call the county clerk at (646) 386-5955.

File a DBA in New York for an LLC or Corporation

Incorporated businesses and LLCs file their Certificate of Assumed Name with the New York Department of State.

The following business types are considered incorporated:

  • For-profit Corporations, Nonprofit Corporations
  • Professional Corporations, Professional Associations
  • Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Any Foreign Filing Entities

You can file a DBA for your incorporated business yourself by using this guide. Or, the experts at Prime are always here to help. 

New York LLC/Corporation Step 1: Do a New York Business Entity Search

New York assumed names must be unique and must also meet New York’s business name requirements. 

First, visit the New York Department of State’s website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

Next, review the New York naming requirements. In New York, assumed names should NOTinclude:

  • Words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.)
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) that may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your business.

Learn more about NY naming guidelines on the Department of State’s website.

We recommend checking if your name is available as a web domain (URL) so you know you can set up a website in the future with your chosen name. 

New York LLC/Corporation DBA Step 2: Filing Your Certificate of Assumed Name

You are required to set up your DBA with the New York Department of State if your business is incorporated.

You will need to print a copy of the certificate of assumed name form. The form will ask for your new DBA name and information about your business.

FILE YOUR NY ASSUMED NAME

File the Certificate of Assumed Name by Mail, by Fax, or In-Person

DOWNLOAD FORM

Cost:

$25 for the Certificate of Assumed Name

$10 Certified Copy of Certificate of Assumed Name

$150 2-hour processing, $75 Same day, $25 within 24 hours

 

Office Address:

New York State Department of State

Division of Corporations

One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12231

 

Mailing Address:

New York State Department of State

Division of Corporations

One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12231

 

Fax: (518) 474-1418 (Include the Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization Form and your written request for a certified copy, if required)

Additional Fees For Corporations Only

  • $100 for each NYC county where the business is or will be conducted within New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Counties)
  • $25 for each county where the business is or will be conducted outside New York City
  • $1,950 to include every New York State county and the Certificate of Assumed Name combined

Payment

Fees must be paid by cash, check, money order, MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the “Department of State.”

When using a credit card by mail or fax, you must complete and sign the Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization Form and submit it to the Division of Corporations with your Certificate of Assumed Name.

Do not send cash through the mail. All checks over $500 must be certified.

Manage Your New York State DBA

New York DBA Questions

Call the New York Department of State to learn more about DBA requirements: (518) 473-2492

Renew Your New York DBA with the State

Your Certificate of Assumed Name does not expire.

Change Your New York DBA

To make changes to your Certificate of Assumed Name, you must complete and submit the Certificate of Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Name form.

Withdraw Your New York DBA

To withdraw or cancel your Certificate of Assumed Name, you must complete and submit the Certificate of Discontinuance of Assumed Name form.

 

After Filing Your New York DBA

If filing a DBA marks the beginning of your business journey, then there are a few more steps that you should take before getting started:

  • Create your Business’s Website – Every business needs a website. Luckily, drag-and-drop builders like GoDaddy and Wix make the job quick and easy. 
  • Get your Business Finances in Order – You’ll need to separate your business finances from your personal ones. This is accomplished by opening a business bank account. It’s also a great idea to start building business credit buy opening a credit card account for your New York business.. 
  • Protect Your Business – While an LLC will help to protect your personal assets in the case of a lawsuit, your business’s assets also need protection. Having the right business insurance will ensure that you’re covered if the worst happens. Most businesses start with general liability insurance as their base coverage.

New York DBA FAQ

How many New York DBAs can I have?

You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. Each one comes with additional incremental expenses and paperwork, meaning more is not necessarily better.

Can a New York DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?

DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.

Can a New York DBA become an LLC?

No. An LLC is a business entity, while a DBA is just a name for a business.

Sole proprietorships are often confused with DBAs, but they are not the same: a sole proprietorship is a business entity, therefore it can choose to become an LLC.

To learn how to form an LLC in New York, check out our guide forming a New York LLC here.

Can a DBA have Inc. in the name?

A DBA can only have Inc. in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.

How do I set up a DBA for a rental property?

Holding a rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection. The best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. In any case, it is always best to consult an attorney.

When would it be good to get a DBA versus a legal name change?

Getting a DBA is often a better choice than changing your business’s legal name. If you want to rebrand your company or focus on another line of business, filing for a DBA is a simpler process than filing for a legal name change.

Is my DBA protected from being used in other places?

Some state-level laws prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but this varies from state to state. It is possible to trademark a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.

 

New York DBA: Additional Resources

Registering a New Business in New York

Registering an LLC in New York

Cost to Form an LLC in New York