Ask the Expert:
What is DBA?
DBA is an abbreviation for "doing business as." Owners of a company will file for a DBA if they wish to conduct business using a name that is different from the name they used to form the business.
This "second" name does not replace the original name, but instead acts as an additional legal name for the business.
For example, if John and Jane Trucker started a business under Jane Trucker, they could file for a DBA to make their legal name "Jane Trucker dba J & J Trucking."
John and Jane could then use J & J Trucking to open bank accounts, write checks, and enter contracts.
If you don't file a DBA and just start doing business under a different name you could face penalties and fines, not to mention the possibility of lawsuits.