How to Get a DBA Name in Maryland | A Step-By-Step Guide

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
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Get a DBA Name in Maryland

Have you ever wondered how to get a DBA for your Limited Liability Company? If you have, then you are on the right page. Doing Business As (DBA) names, also known as trade names, fictitious names, or assumed names, are an essential aspect of businesses in Maryland. A DBA name allows companies to operate under a name different from their legal business name since it is important for branding, marketing, and legal purposes. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to getting a DBA name in Maryland.

Through thorough research and market study, Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you learn about the DBA name. It would be best to cross-check all the factors before obtaining one for your Maryland business.

What is a DBA Name?

A DBA (Doing Business As) name in Maryland is a name under which a business operates that is different from its legal name. It is also known as a trading, fictitious, or assumed name. A DBA name allows companies to start a limited liability company in Maryland, and market themselves under a separate name from their legal business name. Registering a DBA name in Maryland, provides businesses with branding, marketing, and legal benefits while also helping to prevent other businesses from using the same or a similar name within the state.

Example of a DBA

A DBA (Doing Business As) example can be illustrated through a fictional scenario involving a sole proprietor named John Smith. Let’s say John owns a bakery business and wants to operate it under a different name rather than using his name.

Legal Business Name: John Smith (sole proprietor)

DBA Name: Sweet Treats Bakery

In this case, John would register “Sweet Treats Bakery” as his DBA name. By doing so, he can legally conduct his bakery business using the name “Sweet Treats Bakery” for branding, marketing, and legal purposes, instead of using his name, John Smith. This allows John to establish a professional identity for his bakery and distinguish it from other businesses.

If you start an LLC in Maryland, registering a DBA name is important when it comes to remembering your business. However, it is best to consult with a legal professional before you begin registering your DBA name. This is to ensure that your business name is available in Maryland.

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How to Get a DBA Name in Maryland

Starting a business in Maryland can be exciting and challenging. One crucial step in establishing your business’s identity is choosing and registering a Doing Business As (DBA) name. Here are the steps to get a DBA in Maryland.

Step 1: Choose a Unique and Appropriate Name

The first step in registering a DBA name is selecting a unique and appropriate name for your business. Your chosen name should be easy to remember and represent your business’s products or services. 

Consider the following tips when choosing a DBA name in Maryland:

  • Avoid using names too similar to existing businesses, as this may lead to confusion and potential legal issues.
  • Stay away from names that may be considered offensive or misleading.
  • Research Maryland naming requirements, as some have specific restrictions on what words and phrases can be included in a business name. 

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Step 2: Conduct a Name Search

Once you have chosen a suitable name for your business, conducting Maryland Business Name Search is essential to ensure the name is not already used. In Maryland, they have an online business name database that you can search, usually found on the Maryland Business Express. Sometimes, you may also need to check with your local county clerk’s office to ensure the name is not already used at the county level.

If your chosen name is already in use, select a different name and repeat the search until you find an available name.

Step 3: Register the DBA Name

After confirming that your chosen name is available, the next step is registering your DBA name with the appropriate state or county agency. In Maryland, you will need to complete a DBA registration form, which can often be found on Maryland Secretary of State website. Maryland may require additional documentation, such as proof of business ownership or a business license in Maryland.

When filling out the registration form, provide accurate and complete information. Any errors or omissions may lead to delays in processing or even the rejection of your application.

Step 4: Pay the Registration Fee

A fee is typically associated with registering a DBA name. In Maryland, there are three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing.. The cost of filing a DBA is $25 Filing Fee and $50 Expedited Fee. However, renewing your DBA every five years would be best. Sometimes, there may be separate fees for Maryland DBA registrations. Be prepared to pay these fees when submitting your registration form.

Step 5: Publish a Notice of Your New DBA Name

Maryland requires you to publish a notice of your new DBA name in a local newspaper. This step will inform the public of your intention to operate under a fictitious name. 

The notice must typically include your DBA name, legal business name, business address, and owner’s name. You may need to provide proof of publication to Maryland or the county agency responsible for DBA registrations.

Step 6: Obtain Any Necessary Permits or Licenses

Depending on your Maryland business’s nature and location, you may need additional permits or licenses to operate under your DBA name.

The permits and licenses required for your business will depend on your business’s nature, location, and local and state regulations. Here are some common types of permits and licenses that might be required when operating under a DBA:

  • Business License: A general business license may be required in Maryland to operate your business legally. This license ensures your business meets local zoning, safety, and regulatory requirements. In Maryland, the costs of obtaining a business license range from $50 – $300.
  • Sales Tax Permit: If your business sells taxable goods or services, you may need a Sales Tax Permit from Maryland Comptroller of Maryland.
  • Professional Licenses: Depending on your business type, you may need specific professional licenses or certifications. For example, if you are operating a restaurant, you may need a food handler’s permit; if you offer professional services such as accounting or legal services, you may need a professional license from Maryland state board. DBA filing requires professional licenses if you operate under a General Partnership in Maryland
  • Health and Safety Permits: Businesses in certain industries, such as food service, may require health and safety permits to ensure compliance with state and local regulations.
  • Zoning Permits: Depending on your business location and the type of business you are operating, you may need a zoning permit from your local planning or zoning department.
  • Environmental Permits: If your business involves activities that could impact the environment, you may need permits from Maryland state or federal environmental agencies.

Step 7: Renew Your DBA Registration as Needed

In Maryland, you are required to renew your DBA registration periodically. This renewal process may involve completing a renewal form, paying a renewal fee, and sometimes republishing the notice of your DBA name. Stay up-to-date with your state’s renewal requirements to maintain your DBA name and avoid penalties.

Maintaining the DBA Name

Once your DBA name is registered and published, it is essential to maintain it to remain in good standing with Maryland. Here are some important aspects to consider:

  • Renewal or Expiration: Depending on Maryland’s regulations, your DBA name registration may expire or need to be renewed periodically. Keep track of these deadlines to avoid losing your DBA name.
  • Updating Business Information: If your business undergoes significant changes (such as a change in ownership or address), you may need to update your DBA name registration with the appropriate agency.
  • Canceling or Discontinuing the DBA Name: If you decide to stop using your DBA name or close your business, notify the appropriate agency and follow any required procedures for canceling or discontinuing the name.

Is a DBA in Maryland the same as a Trade Name?

Yes, in Maryland, a DBA (Doing Business As) is the same as a trading name. Both terms refer to a name under which a business operates differently from its legal name. A DBA or trade name allows companies to conduct business and market themselves using a different name from their legal business name. Other terms for DBA or trade name include fictitious name and assumed name. Registering a DBA or trade name in Maryland may vary depending on the type of business and the state’s specific regulations.

Do I need to register my Maryland DBA in the Internal Revenue Service?

No, you do not need to register your DBA (Doing Business As) name in Maryland with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The registration of a DBA is typically done at the state or local level, depending on the specific regulations of Maryland. The IRS is not involved in the DBA registration process.

However, once your DBA is registered in Maryland, you may need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Maryland from the IRS if your business has employees, operates as a corporation or partnership, or meets certain tax-filing requirements.

Do I need to file for a DBA if I already have Maryland Registered Business Name?

If you already have a registered business name in Maryland and you plan to conduct business using that exact name, you do not need to file for a DBA (Doing Business As). A DBA is required when a business wants to operate under a name different from its legal business name. 

However, you must file for a DBA if you have a registered business name and wish to conduct business under a different name. This applies to sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations that intend to use a name other than their legally registered name.

FAQs

How do I register for a DBA name in Maryland?
You can register for a DBA name in Maryland by filing a Trade Name Application with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
How much does it cost to register for a DBA name in Maryland?
It costs $25 to register for a DBA name in Maryland.
Do I need to register for a DBA name in Maryland if I’m using my own name for my business?
If you’re using your legal name for your business, you don’t need to register for a DBA name in Maryland.
How long does it take to get a DBA name in Maryland?
It typically takes 1-2 weeks to get a DBA name in Maryland.
Can I use the same DBA name as another business in Maryland?
No, you can’t use the same DBA name as another business in Maryland.
Can I register for a DBA name in Maryland without a business license?
Yes, you can register for a DBA name in Maryland without a business license.
Do I need to renew my DBA name in Maryland?
Yes, you need to renew your DBA name in Maryland every 5 years.
Can I register for a DBA name in Maryland online?
Yes, you can register for a DBA name in Maryland online through the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website.
Do I need an EIN to register for a DBA name in Maryland?
No, you don’t need an EIN to register for a DBA name in Maryland.
What is the difference between a corporation name and a DBA name in Maryland?
A corporation name is the formal legal name of a corporation, while a DBA name is a trade name used by a business.
What should I do if I want to change my DBA name in Maryland?
If you want to change your DBA name in Maryland, you need to file an Amendment to Trade Name form with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
Can I use a DBA name that I’ve used in another state in Maryland?
You may be able to use a DBA name that you’ve used in another state in Maryland, but it’s best to do a name search before registering to avoid any conflicts.
Is a DBA name the same as a trade name in Maryland?
Yes, a DBA name is the same as a trade name in Maryland.
What should I do if I want to go by a different name than my legal name?
If you want to go by a different name than your legal name, you need to register for a DBA name in Maryland.
Can I register for a DBA name in Maryland if I’m a sole proprietor?
Yes, you can register for a DBA name in Maryland if you’re a sole proprietor.
Can I apply for a DBA name for my nonprofit organization in Maryland?
Yes, you can apply for a DBA name for your nonprofit organization in Maryland.
Can I have multiple DBA names for my business in Maryland?
yes, you can have multiple DBA names for your business in Maryland.
Can I trademark my DBA name in Maryland?
Yes, you can trademark your DBA name in Maryland.
What are the steps I need to take to register a DBA name in Maryland?
The steps to register a DBA name in Maryland include filing a Trade Name Application with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, paying the $25 fee, and completing any additional paperwork that may be required.
Can I use my DBA name to open a business bank account in Maryland?
Yes, you can use your DBA name to open a business bank account in Maryland.
How do I know if my chosen DBA name is available in Maryland?
You can search the online database of registered Trade Names on the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website.
Is a DBA name required for a home-based business in Maryland?
Yes, a DBA name is required for a home-based business in Maryland.
How should I use my DBA name in Maryland?
You should use your DBA name in all your business communications, such as on your website, business card, and marketing materials.
Can I use my DBA name on official government forms in Maryland?
No, you need to use your legal name on official government forms in Maryland.
Can I sell products under my registered DBA name in Maryland?
Yes, you can sell products under your registered DBA name in Maryland.
Am I required to publicly advertise my DBA name in Maryland?
No, you’re not required to publicly advertise your DBA name in Maryland.
Should my business logo be the same as my DBA name in Maryland?
Your business logo doesn’t have to be the same as your DBA name in Maryland, but they should be related in some way.
Can I partner with someone under my DBA name in Maryland?
Yes, you can partner with someone under your DBA name in Maryland.
Can I transfer my DBA name to someone else in Maryland?
It’s not possible to transfer a DBA name to someone else in Maryland. You would need to register a new DBA under the new owner’s name.
What is a DBA name in Maryland?
In Maryland, DBA stands for “Doing Business As” name. It is the alternative name that a business may choose to use instead of its legal name.
Do I need to register a DBA name in Maryland?
Yes. If you want to conduct business under a name other than your own, you need to register your DBA name in Maryland.
Who can file a DBA name registration in Maryland?
Anyone who plans to, or is already doing business in Maryland can file a DBA name registration.
How much does it cost to file a DBA name registration in Maryland?
The fee to file a DBA name registration in Maryland is $25.00.
How long is a DBA name registration valid in Maryland?
A DBA name registration in Maryland is valid for five years.
Can I renew my DBA name registration in Maryland?
Yes. You can renew your DBA name registration in Maryland by submitting a renewal application.
Can I change the name on my DBA name registration in Maryland?
Yes. You can change the name on your DBA name registration in Maryland by filing an amendment.
How long does it take to process a DBA name registration in Maryland?
It usually takes 10-15 business days to process a DBA name registration in Maryland.
Is there a deadline to file a DBA name registration in Maryland?
No. There is no deadline to file a DBA name registration in Maryland.
Do I need a lawyer to file a DBA name registration in Maryland?
No. You do not need a lawyer to file a DBA name registration in Maryland.
Can I file a DBA name registration online in Maryland?
No. You cannot file a DBA name registration online in Maryland. You can only submit paper applications.
Can I file a DBA name registration by mail in Maryland?
Yes. You can file a DBA name registration by mail in Maryland.
Can I file a DBA name registration in person in Maryland?
Yes. You can file a DBA name registration in person at the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
What are the requirements to file a DBA name registration in Maryland?
The requirements to file a DBA name registration in Maryland are
Can I use a DBA name that has already been registered by another business in Maryland?
No. You cannot use a DBA name that has already been registered by another business in Maryland.
How do I know if my DBA name registration has been approved in Maryland?
You will receive a notification from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation when your DBA name registration has been approved.
Can I use my DBA name to register for a trademark in Maryland?
Yes. You can use your DBA name to register for a trademark in Maryland.
Can I use my DBA name on my business stationery and advertising in Maryland?
Yes. You can use your DBA name on your business stationery and advertising in Maryland.
Can I open a bank account using my DBA name in Maryland?
Yes. You can open a bank account using your DBA name in Maryland after you receive a notification of approval.
Is it necessary to have a separate tax ID number for a DBA name in Maryland?
No. You do not need a separate tax ID number for a DBA name in Maryland.
Can I apply for another DBA name while still operating under my existing DBA name in Maryland?
Yes. You can apply for multiple DBA names while still operating under your existing DBA name in Maryland.
Can I operate a non-profit under a DBA name in Maryland?
Yes. Non-profit organizations can operate under a DBA name in Maryland.
Can I use a nickname as my DBA name in Maryland?
Yes. You can use a nickname as your DBA name in Maryland.
Do I need to file for a new DBA name registration if my business address changes in Maryland?
Yes. You need to file for a new DBA name registration if your business address changes in Maryland.
Do I need a business license to register a DBA name in Maryland?
It depends on the type of business you are conducting. Some businesses require a license to operate.
Can I request an expedited processing of my DBA name registration in Maryland?
Yes. You can request an expedited processing of your DBA name registration in Maryland for an additional fee.
What happens if I do not file a DBA name registration in Maryland?
If you do not file a DBA name registration in Maryland, you could face fines and other legal consequences.
How long does it take to receive my approved DBA name registration certificate in Maryland?
It may take 2-3 weeks to receive your approved DBA name registration certificate in Maryland.

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Conclusion

Getting a DBA name in Maryland is crucial for many businesses, providing branding, marketing, and legal benefits. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can successfully register a DBA name in Maryland and enhance your business’s credibility and recognition in the market. Remember to stay up-to-date with Maryland’s rules and regulations surrounding DBA names, and maintain your registration to ensure your business remains compliant.

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