As you develop your small business, one of the most important steps is to choose a business name. If you are unsure of what to name your business, you have the option of using a DBA.

The state of New York offers business owners an opportunity to use a DBA for their business name, but you’ll need to know a few things beforehand. Here’s an overview of the four steps to start a DBA in New York.

What is a DBA?

A DBA is an acronym that means doing business as. A DBA is also known as an assumed name, fictitious name, or trade name. 

Although a DBA won’t provide your business with legal protection, it will allow you to operate your business using a different name from your business name or legal name. Many states require business owners to have a DBA, and some business entities require a DBA.

How are DBAs in New York different from other states?

DBAs in New York differ from other states with the forms you’ll use. Depending on your business entity, you’ll need to work with a County Clerk or the Department of State. 

New York state also has two ways of classifying DBAs, depending on the business entity. You may see the terms assumed name certificates or business certificates. 

In New York, assumed name certificates and business certificates have the same meaning, but your business entity will determine whether you need an assumed name certificate or a business certificate.

General Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships

If you want to form a general partnership in the state of New York, you’ll file your DBA name using an Assumed Name Certificate. You’ll do this with the county clerk where your business will operate.

If you want to form a sole proprietorship in the state of New York, you’ll file your DBA name using an Assumed Name Certificate. However, you’ll file this with the county clerk only if you’ll operate your sole proprietorship under a different name than the sole proprietor.

Corporations and LLCs

In New York, corporations and LLCs will work with the Department of State for their Assumed Name Certificates. The Department of State can forward copies to counties within New York if the filer requests it.

How to start a DBA in New York

Starting a DBA in New York comprises completing two forms and submitting them to the county clerk or the Department of State. 

Step 1: Assumed Name Search

The first step of starting your DBA in New York is to do an assumed name search. To make sure you can use your business name without issues, it may be helpful to search in a database. This will help you avoid choosing a business name that is already in use.

There are a few rules for assumed names for businesses in the state of New York. You won’t be able to use the following words in your assumed name: 

  • Corporation
  • Incorporated
  • Limited
  • Limited liability company
  • Limited partnership

You also won’t be able to use abbreviations for these words as you find and use your assumed name.

Step 2: File DBA with County Clerk

Second, you’ll file your DBA with the county clerk. This is applicable only for general partnerships and sole proprietorships. Corporations and LLCs will file with the Department of State. 

Step 3: File Form X-74 or X-201

Third, you’ll file either Form X-74 or Form X-201, based on your business entity. The county won’t provide these forms, so you’ll need to purchase them. 

If your business is a partnership, you’ll file using Form X-74, Business Certificate form for Partnerships. If your business is a sole proprietorship, you’ll file using Form X-201, Business Certificate form for Sole Proprietorships.

Step 4: Submit Business Certificate or Certificate of Assumed Name

Finally, you’ll submit your business certificate (to the county clerk) or certificate of assumed name. After filing your Certificate of Assumed Name, you’ll receive an official filing receipt. It will contain: 

  • Assumed name
  • Date of when you filed your Certificate of Assumed Name
  • Fees paid
  • Name of corporation or other business entity

The receipt will serve as proof of your filing, which is important because the Department of State won’t issue duplicates.

How long does it take to file for a DBA in New York?

If you want to receive your Certificate of Assumed Name faster, you’ll have the option to pay for expedited processing. Depending on how quickly you’d like your documents, you’ll pay an additional: 

  • $25.00 per document, for processing within 24 hours
  • $75.00 per document, for processing within the same day
  • $150.00 per document, for processing within 2 hours

How much does it cost to start a DBA in New York?

There are a few fees to keep in mind if you apply for the Certificate of Assumed Name:

  • Filing fee: $25 (with the New York Department of State)
  • You’ll pay a second county filing fee of $25, based on the county or counties your business does business or will do business. 
  • The second county filing fee in Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond counties is $100. 
  • In the state of New York, there’s no county fee for limited liability companies (LLCs) or limited partnerships (LPs).

If you want certified copies of your business, you’ll pay a $10 fee.

Does a business certificate expire in New York?

When you receive a business certificate in New York, one of the first questions you may have is about when it may expire. Your business certificate won’t expire in New York.

We Can Help You With Your Small Business 

When it comes time to set up your small business, ensuring that your business name is available and unique is very important. A DBA is a great way to make sure that your business can develop and operate in the state of New York.

Starting a small business in New York doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you want to save time to devote towards other aspects of your new business, turn to the pros. Work with the professionals at 1-800Accountant to help start your small business.

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Written by Susan Young

Susan Young is a Tax Accountant and 1-800Accountant Specialist. She's worked with the company for over 5 years and takes pride in helping he...