Mon 11 Apr 2016 | By:

What, Why, and How to Register an Idaho DBA

Why and How to File a DBA

Building a business is both challenging and rewarding. Challenging in the sense that you have to prepare several documents and complete many steps to be able to officially and legally start your Idaho small business.

Once your startup is up and running, it will be the most rewarding feeling of all because you know it’s a product of your hard work.

Aside from incorporating your Idaho small business, obtaining permits and licenses, understanding Idaho tax regulations and complying with state taxes, there’s one more concept that you need to understand – DBA or “Doing Business As”.

It’s essential that you know what an Idaho DBA is because at some point, you’ll have the need to file one for your business. Whether it’s a temporary solution or a marketing strategy, a DBA can be your startup’s most valuable asset. In this article, we’re going to discuss what a DBA is, why you need it and how to file one.


What is an Idaho DBA?

An Idaho DBA, or “Doing Business As” also known as fictitious, trade or assumed business name enables an entrepreneur to use a business name or an alternative business name other than what its existing company is using. You Idaho DBA is also a legal registration of your trade name of choice before the state of Idaho.

A DBA allows you to do important things: operate using an official business name, conduct transactions using your trade name and accept checks, money and other forms of payment directly under your business name.

After you’ve filed for an Idaho DBA, you need to publish the fictitious business name statement with complete personal name in all official publications for circulation. This must be done within 30 days. Make sure that your DBA notice appears once every week for 4 succeeding weeks. After 30 days from the last publishing date, file an affidavit of publication before your local county clerk’s office.


Why File an Idaho DBA?

1) You don’t want to use your personal name.

Certain business structures like sole proprietorship impose rules on business owners to use their personal name as their business name. If you’re operating under this entity, you have no choice but to follow this rule because it’s a mandatory requirement in the state of Idaho, and even the majority of states in the U.S.

While this is okay for some, it’s uncomfortable for the majority of business owners. This is where an Idaho DBA comes in. A DBA will enable you to use an alternative name which does not bear your personal name. Having a DBA will give you the freedom to use a unique business name.


2) Your client requires a DBA.

This applies to businesses running under sole proprietorship and general partnership as well as freelancers who offer independent services to clients and companies.

To be able to make sure that both parties honor a deal, clients usually require businesses and professionals to submit a DBA first before contract signing is done. Requiring a DBA is before a client gives you a working contract is normal practice so you have to prepare this requirement ahead of time.


3) You’re starting a new business.

Once your current business succeeds, you’ll think of expanding and creating new businesses and websites. Forming an entity for each business that you launch will be costly, but through a DBA, you’ll be able to use a business name officially.

You can also operate like a normal incorporated business, initiating transactions and accepting payments through your chosen trade name.


4) You don’t want to incorporate.

When starting an Idaho small business, there’s no assurance of success and for some entrepreneurs, this is a strong convincing factor not to incorporate just yet. Incorporation is expensive and time-consuming and a DBA is the best way to use a business name and carry the normal functions of a company without having to create a hole in one’s wallet.

If you want to test the waters first and see if your Idaho startup fairs well, you can temporarily make use of a DBA. Once your business takes off, you can always incorporate it before the state of Idaho.


5) Your bank needs a DBA.

To be able to transact with your bank and open a business bank account, you need to have an Idaho DBA to get approved. This is required from sole proprietors and freelancers and businesses which are extensions or branches of a fully established mother business. Present your DBA upon application so you can open a business bank account without any problems.


How to File an Idaho DBA

Step 1) Obtain a Copy of the DBA Registration Form.

To get started, you need to get a copy of the Idaho registration form. The form is better known as the Certificate of Assumed Business Name; it can be obtained from the website of Idaho’s Secretary of State.

Since the form is filled-out online, you can immediately start the process. The filing fee that you need to prepare is $25.

Step 2) Fill-out the Registration Form.

The next step in filing an Idaho DBA is filling out the registration form. As mentioned, it can be directly filled-out online so you can start immediately after clicking the link above.

Make sure to thoroughly read the instructions and prepare the needed information to avoid mistakes. Some of the most basic information needed are the following:

After you’ve filled out all entries recheck all your information, making sure that they’re accurate to avoid any problems in the future.


Step 3) Mail your filled-out DBA Form promptly.

After verifying the information in your Idaho DBA form and having it notarized, you can submit the it to the address found at the bottom portion of the registration form. As you file your DBA, make sure that you include a filing fee with it. The last thing that you have to do is wait until you’re given a notice that your application has been approved.


Should You File a DBA in Idaho?

Sooner or later, you’ll have the need to file an Idaho DBA, which is why it’s very important that you understand what this process is and why you need to file one. If you don’t want to spend so much when starting a business in Idaho, you can file a DBA to save.

Different businesses have varying needs however, so you need to assess closely if your Idaho startup needs a DBA or not. While a DBA is generally useful, it also has its own set of disadvantages. For one, it can’t protect you and your Idaho small business from liabilities. With this, you’re putting yourself at risk for lawsuits, credit investigations and many other business liabilities.

When you use a DBA, you will not be able to trademark your business name. This DBA limitation can cause legal and economic problems for your Idaho small business if you’re using a similar trade name of another business. These are just a few of the problems that you’ll encounter when using a DBA; it’s best that you consult with a lawyer before filing one.

This article is an informational guide and as such should only be used as a reference when filing an ID 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 Idaho or starting a company in general.

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