Step 1) Secure Your Brand Name
First, ensure your brand name isn't taken or too similar to another by searching the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions as well as the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
While you aren't required to file legal documents to establish a sole proprietorship, if you want to file under a name other than your own legal name you'll need to pay the $30 for filing a "Registration of Firm Names" form with the County Register of Deeds where your office is/will be located.
Now would be the perfect time to make sure there’s a web domain available for your DBA.
Step 2) Complete & Notarize The Form
Fill out your form completely and properly, getting all required signatures. Then print two copies, one to file and one to have stamped and returned to you for your records.
You'll then need to get the signature of an authorized person able to administer an oath then officially seal/stamp it. Depending on where you're having this done, the price can range from about $20-$40 or so for 1 to 2 notarizations.
Step 3) Submit The Completed Registration Form
When the form is completed and you're absolutely sure everything's in order, send it off to the local County Register of Deeds. From there, await confirmation of your Wisconsin DBA.
From here you can look into setting up a local business account if you haven't already, obtaining your EIN or even getting your website off the ground.
Need Help Filing Your DBA?
A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.
- LegalZoom ($99 + state fee) for the most popular DBA filing service available.
- MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) for a more personalized DBA filing service.