DBA for Nevada LLCOne of the most important parts of any business is its name. Your limited liability company’s name is your first impression with prospective clients, whether they hear about your business by word of mouth, drive past a billboard advertising your business on the freeway, or if they stumble upon your business as a result of a Google search.

One way to change your business name — or to add an additional name that your LLC can use interchangeably — is by filing a “doing business as” name application, commonly known as a DBA. There are many reasons to get a DBA — from marketing a new product line to granting a sole proprietorship the ability to use an assumed name — so this article will walk you through the process of registering a DBA for your Nevada LLC.

Keep in Mind: A DBA does not provide you with asset protection. However an LLC does and allows you to operate under the business name of your choice as long as it is not already claimed. Plus, it is fairly straightforward to file through an LLC formation service (like ZenBusiness) or on your own.
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What Is a DBA?

To begin, let’s quickly run down what exactly a DBA is. One point of confusion we often hear about is that a DBA is not a business entity, like an LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship, general partnership, etc. Instead, you can think of a DBA as an add-on feature of sorts.

The DBA allows you to create alternate business names for your entity, which you can then use interchangeably with your LLC’s official business name. In addition, for informal business entities that don’t have exclusive business names (like sole proprietorships and general partnerships), a DBA can be a great way to inject some additional professionalism into a business venture.

But let’s talk strictly about LLCs, shall we? Why would an LLC want an additional business name? There are several potential reasons, although they obviously vary considerably depending on what your business does. One popular reason is to differentiate a new product line from a company’s existing offerings.

Let’s say that you own a business called “Fine Footwear, LLC” that produces high-end shoes. If you decide to also start a new product line that sells inexpensive flip-flop sandals, you might want a way to differentiate this brand from your core business. In this circumstance, you could register a DBA for “Flip-Flops by Fine Footwear,” and you can use this name to market your new products, while your original product line remains unaffected if your sandal side business fails.

It could also be helpful if you decide to expand your local business into a new market. For instance, if you own a Nevada-based plumbing business called “Las Vegas Plumbing,” and you want to expand beyond Las Vegas, you can register a DBA for “Reno Plumbing” and use that name in the Reno market.

The state of Nevada provides no exclusivity for DBA names. This means that if you register a DBA and another entrepreneur decides that they like it, they are legally allowed to use your name as their own. Due to this lack of uniqueness, we’re not fans of registering DBAs in this state.

If you want to create an additional name for your business and retain the exclusive rights, you will need to form another LLC. While it is definitely more hassle (and more money) to form and maintain another LLC, the exclusive naming rights are worth it, in our opinion.

However, if you still want to get a DBA for your Nevada LLC, we’ll outline the process in the next section.

How to Get a DBA for a Nevada LLC

First off, we’ll note that Nevada often refers to DBAs as “fictitious firm names,” so for the purposes of this article, we’ll continue to use both terms interchangeably.

The process for obtaining a DBA in Nevada begins with a business name search to make sure that an LLC or corporation hasn’t already registered the name you want for its own use. Once you’ve determined the name’s eligibility, you can move on to the application.

Registering a fictitious firm name in Nevada is actually done at the county level. As such, the specific process you’ll need to complete can vary. For the purposes of this article, we’ll discuss Clark County’s process — just keep in mind that there may be some variations in your county.

The fictitious firm name application typically requires the following information: the DBA name you’re registering, your LLC’s official business name, your LLC’s mailing address, your printed name, your signature, your address, and the date. This form will need to be notarized before you submit it to the county.

Depending on your county, the filing fees and turnaround times may vary. For a list of contact information for your county, check out this convenient page compiled by the Nevada Secretary of State.

In Conclusion

The doing business as (DBA) name varies more from state to state than most other business filings. In some states, a DBA grants you exclusive rights to your new fictitious firm name, but in states like Nevada, that simply isn’t the case. Due to this lack of exclusivity, we’re not fans of registering DBAs in this state.

Instead, it’s probably a better option to form an additional LLC if you want to be able to use multiple names for your business. This is certainly more of a hassle that registering a DBA, but at least you’ll have exclusive rights to your name.

If you’re looking for a new way to market your LLC in Nevada, a DBA might not be the best idea.

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