Doing Business As in Virginia: Everything You Need To Know

Doing business as in Virginia is a certificate that registers a fictitious name for your business and it is also called an assumed name.3 min read

Doing business as in Virginia is a certificate that registers a fictitious name for your business. This is also called an assumed name. A doing business as (DBA) certificate is required for anyone doing business under a name other than his or her own name.

What Is the Purpose of a DBA?

This certificate informs the government of the individuals who own a business. The county clerk will have a record of this information so he or she knows who is responsible for the company's actions, debts, and responsibilities.

Failure to register for this certificate if you do business in Virginia in a name other than your business's or your own legal name carries legal consequences. In fact, it is a crime that carries a fine of $2500 or a year in prison.

Once your company has filed for a DBA, you can enter contracts, open bank accounts, and operate under the assumed name.

If you are a sole proprietor, you may raise the profile of your business by using a professional name rather than your own name.

How Do You Register a DBA in Virginia?

You need to register your assumed business name in the county where you plan to do business, as well as with the Virginia State Corporation Commission if you have a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation.

First, you'll need to search the name you want to use for your Virginia business to make sure it isn't already taken by another company registered in the state. You should also review the Trade Name Index on the Land Records Management System (LRMS) in the Circuit Court Clerk's Public Service Center for names already recorded. If your desired name is available, the next step is to complete a Certificate of Assumed Name (CC-1050).

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