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Do You Need a D/B/A or Trade name?

What is a D/B/A or Trade Name? By Elizabeth A. Brown, Esq

A D/B/A (Doing Business As) (also called a Trade Name) is an official filing you make with either the local or statewide government offices for registering the name under which you will be conducting business. In New Hampshire if you wish to do business under a name that is not your own or is not the name of your existing corporation or limited liability company, you must register that name with the Secretary of State. Any type of business can file an Application for Registration of Trade Name.

Filing for a Trade Name

Filing an Application for Registration of Trade Name is rather simple. You can find the forms to file the application on the Secretary of State website. You can fill out the forms online, print, sign and mail the forms to the Corporation Division. The forms must be printed on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper in black ink. There is a $50 fee for registration and checks should be made payable to the “State of New Hampshire.”

A few best practices before filing a trade name registration:

  • Always be sure to conduct a preliminary name check to ensure that someone else isn’t already conducting business under the name you want to use.
  • Remember that you can’t use words in your trade name that will mislead people about the business entity type. For instance, you can’t use “INC.” or “LLC” as part of your name if you are not actually incorporated or a limited liability company.

As always, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney if you have any questions on your business or you need help in registering a name for your small business.

About the Author

Dwight Sowerby