How to File A Pennsylvania DBA

How to Use this Guide

To file a DBA in Pennsylvania, use the step-by-step guide below or hire a professional service to do it for you:

  • LegalZoom ($99 + state fee) if you want to use the most popular DBA filing service with free extra features.
  • CorpNet ($108 + state fee) if you want to use the DBA filing service with the best customer support.
John G. Webb, III
This Guide is Attorney Approved

John G. Webb, III is a licensed Pennsylvania business attorney for growing businesses.

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Step 1) Secure Name & Get Registration Form


  • Conduct an online Business Entity Search with the Pennsylvania Department of State or contact the local SBA chapter to see if a company already exists with the name you’d like or one that’s too similar.
  • If applicable, head to the TESS system within the U.S. Patent Office to ensure there aren’t any trademark conflicts.

Complete filing instructions can be found in the form itself, but if you need other information or data, browse through the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Guide. Everything can be found there.

Step 2) Completely Fill-Out The Form

Register an LLC

While the instructions are there, if this is your first time you may feel a little intimidated. Don’t be. Consider a DBA filing service, or just have the basic information handy like:

  • Complete name,
  • Complete address,
  • Contact number,
  • Chosen trade name and,
  • The nature of your business.

After completing the form, recheck it for inconsistencies and mistakes. Do this twice to ensure that every entry is accurate. It’s a pain to make a small mistake and have to go through the process again.

Step 3) File Your DBA Form

Mail in the Form

The last and final step is submitting your registration form (with the filing fee) to the address below:

Pennsylvania Department of State,

Corporation Bureau, P.O. Box 8722,

Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Processing of the application can take 7-10 business days so you have to wait patiently for approval. Once you’re given a go signal, you can officially start using your fictitious business name. Publication of notice of filing the Registration of Fictitious Name is also required. For details, see these Registration of Fictitious Name Form Instructions.

Step 4) Open a Bank Account

Open a business bank accountOnce you have the DBA (or “Fictitious Name” in PA terminology) registration you can Open a Business Bank Account using just your social security number and a copy of the Trade Name registration document. If the business will have employees, get a separate Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business free of charge through the IRS website.

Remember, mixing finances between your business and your personal life is a terrible idea and opens you up to IRS audits! And don’t forget to call ahead at your chosen bank. Most banks require the Fictitious Name registration document and the EIN document from the IRS (if you have one); some require additional documents such as a business license from the local municipality.

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This article is informational in nature and is not meant to replace legal advice. For specific questions and concerns on the process of filing a DBA in Pennsylvania, you can consult a local attorney. We recommend JGW INcounsel/John G. Webb, III, Esq.