How to File a DBA in West Virginia

Registering a West Virginia DBA, also known as a trade name, is a simple process that you complete with the Secretary of State.

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

How To Use This Guide

Use our free guide below to file for a DBA in West Virginia:

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Filing a DBA in West Virginia is easy, just follow these 2 steps:

Step 1: Start With a West Virginia DBA Name Search

If your business is a corporation, LLC, LP, or LLP, head over to the West Virginia Secretary of State website to make sure your trade name isn't taken by another registered West Virginia business.

You should also call the Secretary of State Business Division at (304) 558-8000 for an informal name availability check.

If your business is a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you will contact the West Virginia State Tax Department to conduct a name search.

Your name can be similar to other business names, but it’s still a good practice to create a unique name. In West Virginia, your 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

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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

In West Virginia, you register your DBA with the Secretary of State. You can file online at West Virginia’s One Stop Business Portal, or you can complete the trade name registration form.

There are two different DBA forms, and you will need to pick the right one for your company’s business structure:

The application will ask for your new DBA name and information about your business, such as the owners’ names and addresses.

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 Application for Registration of Trade Name Form

Online

You can submit your application online by visiting the West Virginia Business Portal.

Walk-In or Mail

You can submit your registration form to any of the three West Virginia business service centers:

Charleston Office

One-Stop Business Center
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311

Clarksburg Office

North Central WV Business Center
200 West Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301

Martinsburg Office

Eastern Panhandle Business Center
229 E. Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401


Fees

  • No fee for sole proprietorships and general partnerships
  • $25 filing fee for corporations, LLCs, LPs, and LLPs
  • Expediting fees:
    • $25 for 24-hour processing
    • $250 for 2-hour processing
    • $500 for 1-hour processing

Manage Your West Virginia DBA

DBA Questions

Call the West Virginia Secretary of State Business Division: (304) 558-8000

Renew Your DBA with the State

Your West Virginia trade name does not need to be renewed.

Change Your DBA

You will need to complete a new registration to change your trade name in West Virginia.

Withdraw Your DBA

To cancel your trade name, submit the proper withdrawal form for your business type:

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.

FAQ DBA West Virginia

Can I file a DBA online in West Virginia?

You can file your trade name online at West Virginia's One Stop Business Portal.

How do I change my DBA in West Virginia?

You will need to complete a new registration to change your trade name.

How Can I Withdraw my DBA?

To cancel your trade name, submit the proper withdrawal form for your business type:

How often should I renew my West Virginia DBA?

Your West Virginia trade name does not need to be renewed.

When is a DBA required in West Virginia?

A DBA is required whenever a business is operating under a name other than its legal name.

Is my West Virginia 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 West Virginia. 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 expenses and paperwork, so you will want to make sure you have a good reason for each one you have.

Can a 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 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 West Virginia DBA