Sun 04 Oct 2015 | By:

Registering a Colorado DBA: The Basics

Why and How to File a DBA

Does starting your business have you scratching your head? You may be particularly confused by the term Doing Business As (DBA). Maybe you have never heard the term before and would like more information.

Before you start to panic, let’s explore what an Colorado DBA is, if your business needs one, and how is it filed.

What Is A Colorado DBA?

A DBA is a legal permission that allows you to use a trade name other than your official business name. If you intend to start a new business with a different name, you have to file for a DBA in the state of Colorado.

By filing a DBA, you will be able to open a business bank account under your fictitious name and receive payments and checks. Once you complete the DBA filing, your identity as the business owner as well your fictitious business name will be circulated in all official newspapers in Colorado.

This is done to inform people of the type of business you’re operating. It also protects consumer rights by preventing dishonesty among business establishments.


Why File A Colorado DBA?

There are many reasons to file a DBA.  Here are a few.

1) You want to start a different business/website apart from your main company.

Say you’re currently managing a business or a website that sells men’s bags, however, you want to branch out and cater to women as well. You know for a fact that women rarely buy men’s bags, so you decide to create another website or business specifically for the female market.

You need to file a DBA for you to be able to do this. After you’ve filed, you can make an alternative name for you women’s bag website or business.

2) Your bank requires a DBA before it can let you open a business bank account.

If you’re operating your business under sole proprietorship or general partnership, you may have to register for a DBA before you can open a business bank account. The majority of banks require this document before they allow you to open an account, so if you’re planning to do so, obtain this requirement first.

3) You’re planning to start a new business venture.

Once your business starts to grow, you may think of building new and fresh businesses that are connected to your main company, but with a different name.  Since you want something completely new, you also need to have a unique name for your business, thus, you may want to start a DBA so you can operate legally under your alternative name.

4) Your client is demanding a DBA before sealing the deal.

This is most applicable for freelance professionals, who make a living offering their services to companies and businesses.  Since you’re working independently, certain clients would require you to have a DBA first before entering into a contract.

5) You want to use a formal business name and not your personal name.

Sole Proprietorship doesn’t give you much flexibility when it comes to naming your business. When you have a business under this legal structure, it is understood that your business name is the same with your personal name.

Often, business owners feel uncomfortable running a business that carries their personal name. If you’re one of them, you don’t have to worry because you can change you name by filing a DBA in Colorado.


How To File A Colorado DBA

A Colorado DBA is fairly easy to file, however, if you want to avoid the hassle of doing it yourself, I recommend that you look into LegalZoom (for $99) or Rocket Lawyer (for $99). They are both reliable DBA filing services that handle all paperwork for you.

To start the process, select a trade name that will not confuse or mislead the public. No close word resemblance is allowed, so be thoughtful when deciding on a DBA name.

To make sure that your DBA name has no duplicates, you can check the Colorado Secretary of State’s online database.  If you see a duplicate or the name is not available, you will need to create another fictitious name.

After finalizing your DBA name, obtain the DBA Registration Form.  This can be downloaded from the state of Colorado’s website in the File a Statement of Trade Name section. Review the website for further instructions.

Fill-out the form carefully, making sure that you enter the correct information. These are the following details that you need to prepare ahead:

Once you double check for accuracy, proceed with the filing of your DBA form before the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Once you’re done with the filing, the last and final step is to publish a DBA Registration notice in all official and approved newspapers within your community.

Make sure that you are able to do this for 4 consecutive weeks. Your local publication must also issue an affidavit after 4 weeks.


Should You File A DBA in Colorado?

If you’re still laying the groundwork for your Colorado small business, forming a DBA may not have crossed your mind. However, sooner or later, when your business grows and establishes itself as a formidable business, I’m sure that you’ll think of expanding. This where a DBA comes in.

Whether you’re forming a new business, or you just want a more descriptive and unique name for your Colorado startup, filing a DBA can make a difference. Whenever you feel like filing a DBA, you can make this guide as your point of reference.

Need Help Filing Your DBA?

Have an online filing service take care of the entire DBA filing process for you. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your business and they take care of the paperwork.

LegalZoom (for $99) or Rocket Lawyer (for $99)

About Ryan James

Half hardworking hermit, half avid adventurer, Ryan founded Startup Savant to simplify entrepreneurship and pay it forward by donating a portion of all revenue to support children's education via