Starting your business can be a stressful experience and I understand if you’re confused at the moment will all the information you had to absorb to bring your idea to life.
You’ve probably heard of the term, “Doing Business As” or simply known as DBA, but you don’t know what it means. Before getting frustrated, let me walk you through what a DBA is, why you need to file it, and how to exactly go about the process. I promise, this article is as simple as it gets.
‘Doing Business As’ is a term otherwise known as Fictitious Business Name or Assumed Business Name. DBA is an important procedure in the United States that makes known the owner of a certain company.
The main purpose of filing a DBA is to safeguard the rights of consumers. By revealing the names and identity of business owners, dishonesty is prevented.
Once you file for an Alaska DBA, expect that your business name as well as your name as the business owner will be placed in publications officially circulated in Alaska. As I said, this is a way of informing the community of who you are and the type of business you’re running.
“I already incorporated my business in Alaska, why is there a need to file a DBA?” Good question! There are numerous cases why an Alaska DBA must be filed and here is a list of them:
These are just some important reasons why you would need to file a DBA. Now that you know what a DBA is and why there’s a need to file it, I will teach you how to file an Alaska DBA in the most hassle-free and simple way.
Before you start the entire process, let me just mention that if you want to avoid filing any paperwork and would prefer to have professionals do the work for you – you can use an online filing service like LegalZoom ($99) or Rocket Lawyer ($99).
However if you’d like to handle the process yourself, here is a simple 3-step process so you can file your Alaska DBA based on state guidelines.
Before you can file for a DBA, you need to register your business through the business name registration.
On the application, you have to place the DBA name that you intend to use if you plan to conduct business under a different name.
The next step after registering your business name is to fill out the Business Name Registration Form. There are naming policies that you have to follow in certain states and you may want to check if there are restrictions in Alaska.
You need to have it notarized so it will be acknowledged as a legal document.
Along with your filled out form, you also need to pay the filing fee of $25 to the Division of Corporations section.
The last step in filing a DBA is sending your form and the filing fee to the indicated address which can be found in the Registration Form. Before you sending your form, you may also call (907) 465-2530 for your questions and concerns. Below is the exact address:
Division of Occupational Licensing
Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
P.O. Box 110808
Juneau, AK 99811-0808
You can also fax your business registration form to (907) 465-3257 (Fax).
After completing this process, all you really need to do is wait until you are given the signal to operate with a status of ‘Doing Business As’. In the state of Alaska, you need to renew your DBA every five years. To be able to do this, you need to fill out an application for renewal form and send it together with a renewal fee.
I hope that after reading this article, you have a clear understanding of what a DBA is and how essential it can be for your business. If you need more information, visit Alaska’s Secretary of State.
This article is an informational guide and as such should only be used as a reference when filing an AK DBA, and it should not be used as a legal advice. Your lawyer is still the best person to talk to if you want more details on the legalities of filing a ‘Doing Business As’ in Alaska or bringing a business idea to life in general.