What is a trade name or DBA?
Arizona allows the registration of trade names. A trade name is a name under which an individual or entity operates its business. A trade name is often called a DBA, which stands for “doing business as.”
Trade names are registered with the Arizona Secretary of State.
What is the effect of registering a trade name?
Registering a trade name is different from incorporating a business. Thus, if a person registers a trade name, they do not enjoy the benefits of incorporation.
There is no legal requirement in Arizona to register a trade name, however, registering a trade name gives the trade name holder the exclusive right to use the name in Arizona. Federal rights to a name is only gained by registering a trade mark or service mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Banks often require individuals who are operating a business as a sole proprietorship to have a registered trade name in order to have a bank account under the business name.
How do I register a trade name?
First, you need to see if your trade name can be registered. A trade name must be distinguishable on the record from any other name previously registered and on the record with the Secretary of State. To see if your proposed name is already taken, check Arizona’s trade name database. Your trade name cannot be too similar to a trade name that is already registered. Also, your trade name cannot contain corporate designations such as “Inc.”, “LLC” or “Corp.”
Once you have verified that your trade name can be registered, download and fill out the trade name application form. The form must be notarized if you are filing by mail.
Mail the notarized form along with a check for the $10 filing fee to:
Secretary of State Ken Bennett / Trade Name Division
1700 West Washington 7th Fl.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007