DBA for Utah 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 Utah 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 Utah-based plumbing business called “Provo Plumbing,” and you want to expand beyond Provo, you can register a DBA for “Salt Lake City Plumbing” and use that name in the Salt Lake City market.

The state of Utah includes more protections for DBA names than most states do because, in most states, there is no exclusivity for a DBA. If another business decides that they want to use your DBA as their own name, many states allow them to do just that. However, this state provides more legal protection than most. In fact, Utah will protect your trade name for three years once you register it.

How to Get a DBA for a Utah LLC

The process for obtaining a DBA in Utah begins with a search of the state’s business database to make sure the name you want is available for registration and hasn’t already been claimed by another business. Once you’re certain that your desired DBA name is available, you can move onto the registration phase.

To register your DBA, you’ll need to fill out the Business Name Registration / DBA Application form. The information required for this document includes the DBA name you’re registering, a description of the purpose of your business, your LLC’s business address, the name and address of your LLC’s registered agent, your LLC’s official business name and address, and your signature.

When you’ve finished filling out the form, you can submit it to the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code online, by mail, by fax, or by hand. This document has a $22 filing fee, regardless of how you choose to file it. Utah processes all online filings within 24 hours. If you choose to submit your filing on a paper form, you can expect to wait for 7-10 business days until it is processed. There is expedited filing available for faxed submissions, but seeing as this option has an additional $75 fee, we’re not sure why you wouldn’t just file online instead.

In Conclusion

To be honest, we often say that entrepreneurs shouldn’t bother with DBAs because they don’t provide any exclusivity for your business name. However, Utah actually does a solid job in this regard compared to most states.

Utah’s pledge to provide three years of name exclusivity for any trade name registered here makes the DBA an interesting proposition in this state, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this option to any of our readers.

If you’re looking for a new way to market your LLC in Utah, a DBA isn’t a bad idea.

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