How to File a DBA in New Jersey

Image of a man looking up how to file a D B A in New Jersey

Filing a New Jersey DBA (doing business as), also known as an alternate name or trade name, is a simple process done at the county level or with the New Jersey Department of Treasury depending on your business structure.

To learn more about why you may need a NJ DBA, read our What is a DBA article.

How To Use This Guide

  • First, Choose Your Business Type:

    Sole Proprietorship or Partnership

    A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single individual that isn't formally organized.

    LLC, Corporation, or LLP

    If your business is an LLC, Corporation, or LLP, the information to set up your DBA can be found here.

Use A Professional Service

A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.

four point seven out of five ZenBusiness ($95 + state fee) for a personalized DBA service.

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Filing a DBA for New Jersey Sole Proprietors and General Partnerships

In New Jersey, Sole proprietorships and partnerships register with the county.

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single individual that isn't formally organized. If you run a business and file taxes under your own name, you are a sole proprietor.

A DBA doesn't offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.


SKIP AHEAD

If you need to create a DBA for an LLC or Corporation, you can click here to skip ahead.

Step 1: Start With a New Jersey DBA Name Search

If you haven't already, head over to the New Jersey Department of Treasury website to make sure your name isn't taken by another registered New Jersey business. Your name can be similar to other business names, but it’s still a good practice to create a unique name.

TIP: Our business name generator tool is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are still working to create the perfect business name or website address.

If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, you also must check the county records.

In New Jersey, your alternate or trade name should not include:

  • Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp., etc unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, or etc.
  • Any terms given to financial institutions, including: "bank," "banc," "banco," 'banque," "banker,``''trust company," "savings and loan association," "savings bank," "credit union" or other similar words.

Next, a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether someone else has already trademarked your name.

Now would be the perfect time to make sure there’s a web domain available for your DBA as well.

Find a Domain Now

Service provided by GoDaddy.com

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2: Register Your DBA with the County

Sole proprietors and partnerships file for a trade name with the county where they do business. You will need to check with your local county office for specific details about how to register.

We will give step-by-step instructions for how to register in Middlesex County.

You must first search the county records to make sure that no other company has registered your desired trade name. Then, complete the trade name certificate form with the following information:

  • Trade name
  • Business address
  • Description of business
  • Owner’s name and address

A DBA does not offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a

Sole proprietors and partnerships file for a trade name with the county where they do business. You will need to check with your local county office for specific details about how to register.

We will give step-by-step instructions for how to register in Middlesex County.

You must first search the county records to make sure that no other company has registered your desired trade name. Then, complete the trade name certificate form with the following information:

  • Trade name
  • Business address
  • Description of business
  • Owner’s name and address

A DBA does not offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.

Submit Your Registration Form With Middlesex County

Walk-In or Mail

Middlesex County Clerk
P.O. Box 1110
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-1110

Fees

  • $50 Filing Fee if already notarized
  • $58 Filing Fee if being notarized in the county office
  • $2 Copy
  • $12 Certified Copy

Manage Your Middlesex County Trade Name

DBA Questions

Call the Middlesex County Clerk's Office: (732) 745-3827

Withdraw Your DBA

You can cancel your trade name in Middlesex County by filing the dissolution of a business certificate form. The filing fee is $25 if the form is already notarized or $31 if you get it notarized at the clerk’s office.

limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.

Submit Your Registration Form With Middlesex County

Walk-In or Mail

Middlesex County Clerk
P.O. Box 1110
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-1110

Fees

  • $50 Filing Fee if already notarized
  • $58 Filing Fee if being notarized in the county office
  • $2 Copy
  • $12 Certified Copy

Manage Your Middlesex County Trade Name

DBA Questions

Call the Middlesex County Clerk's Office: (732) 745-3827

Withdraw Your DBA

You can cancel your trade name in Middlesex County by filing the dissolution of a business certificate form. The filing fee is $25 if the form is already notarized or $31 if you get it notarized at the clerk’s office.

Filing a DBA for New Jersey LLCs, Corporations, and LLPs

Incorporated businesses must file their DBA with the New Jersey Department of Treasury. The following business types are considered incorporated:

  • For-profit Corporations, Non-Profit Corporations
  • Professional Corporations, Professional Associations
  • Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Any Foreign Filing Entities

If you are registering a sole proprietorship or partnership, go back to that section of the guide.

Step 1: Start With a New Jersey DBA Name Search

If you haven't already, head over to the New Jersey Department of Treasury website to make sure your name isn't taken by another registered New Jersey business. Your name can be similar to other business names, but it’s still a good practice to create a unique name.

TIP: Our business name generator tool is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are still working to create the perfect business name or website address.

In New Jersey, your alternate or trade name should not include:

  • Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp., etc unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, or etc.
  • Any terms given to financial institutions, including: "bank," "banc," "banco," 'banque," "banker,``''trust company," "savings and loan association," "savings bank," "credit union" or other similar words.

Next, a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether someone else has already trademarked your name.

Now would be the perfect time to make sure there’s a web domain available for your DBA as well.

Find a Domain Now

Service provided by GoDaddy.com

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2: Register Your DBA With the State

For state filings, you can register online at New Jersey’s Business Charter Amendment Service website, or you can complete the registration of alternate name form.

The application will ask for your new DBA name and information about your business, such as:

  • Section 2: Business ID number
  • Section 4: Date of incorporation
  • Section 6: Activity conducted under the alternate name
  • Section 8: Any previous use of alternate name

Submit Your Registration Form

You can register your alternate form online at New Jersey’s Business Charter Amendment Service website, in-person, or by mail.

Walk-In

NJ Division of Revenue
Corporate Unit
33 West State Street, 5th Fl.
Trenton, NJ 08608

Mail

NJ Division of Revenue
Corporate Unit
PO Box 308
Trenton, NJ 08646

Fax

Click here for instructions

(609) 984-6851

Fees

  • $50 Processing Fee
  • Expedited Service: $15 for corporations, non-profits, LPs, $25 for LLCs

Manage Your DBA With The State

DBA Questions

Call the New Jersey Department of Treasury’s Division of Revenue: (609) 292-9292

Renew Your DBA with the State

Your New Jersey alternate name needs to be renewed every five years. That can be done online or by filing this form. The renewal fee is $25 for corporations and $50 for other entities.

Withdraw Your DBA

You can cancel your New Jersey alternate name by filing the Certificate of Termination of Corporate Alternate Name form. The filing fee is $75.

Need Help Filing Your DBA?

Have A Professional Service File Your DBA For You

A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.

We recommend using ZenBusiness ($95 + state fee) for a personalized DBA service.

New Jersey DBA FAQ

Can I file a NJ DBA online?

If your business is a corporation or an LLC, you can file your DBA online at New Jersey's Business Charter Amendment Service website. If your business in a partnership or sole proprietorship, you will need to check with your local county clerk’s office.

How can I withdraw my DBA?

If you registered an alternate name with the state, you can cancel it by filing the Certificate of Termination of Corporate Alternate Name form. The filing fee is $75.

If you filed for a trade name with a county, you will need to contact the clerk’s office for that county.

How often should I renew my New Jersey DBA?

Your New Jersey alternate name needs to be renewed every five years. That can be done online or by filing this form. The renewal fee is $25 for corporations and $50 for other entities.

When is a DBA required in New Jersey?

A DBA is required whenever a business is operating under a name other than its legal name. In the case of a sole proprietorship, you will need a DBA if you are operating under a name other than your own personal name.

Is my New Jersey DBA protected from being used in other places?

There are some state-level laws that prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but your name is not protected in New Jersey. It is possible to create a federal trademark for a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.

How many DBAs can I have?

You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. However, more isn’t necessarily better. Each one will come with additional incremental expense and paperwork, so you will want to make sure you have a good reason for each one you have.

Can a NJ DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?

DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.

To learn more about EINs and when you would need one for your business, read What is An EIN from our friends at TRUiC.

Can a DBA become an LLC?

Your DBA is just a name. A DBA is often confused with a sole proprietorship. If you mean “can my sole proprietorship become an LLC?” then the answer is “Yes. Absolutely.”

To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.

Can a DBA have "Inc." in the name?

A DBA can only have "Inc." in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.

How do I set up a NJ DBA for a rental property?

It’s always best to consult an attorney. Usually, the best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. Holding the rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection.

Useful Links for Your New Jersey DBA