How to Get a DBA in Virginia? Steps to Expand Your Business Legally in the State

If you are one of those businesses who are looking forward to expanding your LLC/corporation then you must file a DBA. File a DBA in Virginia if you want to expand your business roots. To know the process of how you can easily set up Virginia DBA, go through this article. Make sure you know that the process of setting up a DBA is the same for all LLCs, corporations, sole proprietorships, and partnerships.

What Does a Virginia DBA Mean?

DBA stands for “doing business as”. Many firms register a DBA to have a secondary name for their business or to expand business operations. For instance, If you plan to set up a new product line with a separate name in Virginia, then name you will have to file a Virginia DBA. Simply check for the assumed name availability and proceed with Virginia fictitious name registration. On approval, you will be able to legally operate your business under your desired assumed (DBA) name.

Virginia DBA startup

Do I Need a DBA in Virginia?

The Virginia secretary of state does not compulsorily ask you to file a DBA. But if you legally want to use another name, you should create one and it has to be included under State Corporation Commission (SCC) records. Note that DBA is only a branding tool and it won’t protect your company in case of court matters. If you are looking ahead to protect your firm then filing an LLC in Virginia will be a smart choice.

What to Consider While Filing a DBA?

There are certain requirements that you must know while setting up your DBA. Virginia State Corporation Commission reserves a right to reject your request to have a DBA if you do not meet their guidelines. To know more about what is crucial, refer the following points.

  • You must have a good standing certificate with the state
  • You have to notify people about your Virginia DBA through publications
  • Use safe payment options like a money order or cheques
  • Claim an EIN for your business as it is needed while you file a DBA

How to Get a DBA in Virginia?

To set up your Virginia DBA, you have to file an assumed or fictitious name application. However, first, you have to find whether the name is eligible for use or not. You also need to ensure that it meets the Virginia naming guidelines. Check out the following steps to legally file your DBA in Virginia.

Step 1: Virginia Fictitious Name Search

You must perform a Virginia business entity search to avoid using the name of an existing business in the state. By registering your DBA in the state, you are legally seizing it and avoiding risking others using it. Make sure the name also meets the state naming rules.

Virginia business entity search

The name that you desire to use must not include the following points.

  • Any abbreviations or phrases that state that the company is illegal
  • Pronunciations that discover the  business as a government agency
  • Words like bank, trust, or university, unless you have prior approval from the state
  • Any other words like a lawyer, engineer, etc., unless you’re involved in any of the services.

Step 2: Register Your Virginia DBA

Once you successfully perform the name search and meet the naming guidelines, you will have to register your DBA. Register your Virginia DBA with the State Corporation Commission. You can do it online with the Clerk’s Information System or via mail.

Mailing Address:
State Corporation Commission
Clerk’s Office
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197

Make sure you know there are two different forms for the type of business you are going to start.

1. For LLCs, corporations, LPs, and general partnerships you will have to fill out the Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name owned by an Entity. In that form, you will have to fill out the following sections.

  • Section 1: Name of your entity starting under DBA
  • Section 2: Registered assumed or fictitious name
  • Section 3: Type of an entity
  • Section 4: Entity was formed under which jurisdiction
  • Section 5: The SSC ID number or address of the entity

2. For sole proprietorships, you will have to file a Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name owned by an Individual. The form will ask you about the details of your entity and you will have to fill out the mandatory sections such as:

  • Section 1: Individual’s name who will start the entity under DBA
  • Section 2: Registered assumed or fictitious name
  • Section 3: Address of the registering individual

What is the Cost of Filing a DBA in VA?

Unlike other states, you do not have to register your Virginia DBA with the county. You will have to file a DBA in Virginia with the State Corporation Commission at a fixed cost. The form will cost you $10 which you have to pay while filing the request. The charges are the same whether you want a DBA for an entity or an individual, the SCC charges a $10 fee for both.

Cost calculation for dba

Do I have to Renew my Virginia DBA?

No, you do not have to renew your Virginia DBA. However, you certainly have an option of updating the DBA if in any case there are some changes. Simply contact State Corporation Commission regarding your request at (804) 371-9733 or 1-866-722-2551. Or you can visit the office in person and inquire about the same.

Can I File Multiple DBAs in Virginia?

Yes! you can surely file multiple DBAs for your firm. There is no restriction on how many DBAs you can operate in the state. You only have to repeat the whole process and make sure to not use the existing name. The charges will also be the same for any type of business that you carry out in the state. Ensure to legally run the business by filing the Virginia assumed name with the State Corporation Commission.

What if I Don’t Want to use my DBA Anymore?

If you no longer want to continue your DBA in Virginia, you have an option of withdrawing it. Make sure you fill out the Certificate of Release of Assumed or Fictitious Name. You will have to complete the form to cancel your DBA in Virginia and pay a $10 filing fee.

If the business address on your file is no longer valid then you will have to provide a valid one. Once you complete the form and fill all the mandatory sections, you will have to mail the form to the following address.

Mailing Address:
State Corporation Commission
Clerk’s Office
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197

Frequently Asked Questions

1. After filing a DBA, do I need the copy of the form?

Yes, it is recommended that after filing a DBA, you request a copy of the form.

2. Are there different types of certificate to file a DBA in Virginia?

Yes, there are two types of certificates. One for the business conducted by an entity and the one for business conducted by an individual.

3. Can I make changes in my Virginia DBA?

Yes, you can make changes in your Virginia DBA by filing the Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name form again.

4. Where can I file my DBA online in Virginia?

You can file your DBA in Virginia online by visiting the Clerk's Information System (CIS) website.

What After I File my DBA in Virginia?

Once you successfully file your Virginia DBA, there are other considerations as well that you must keep on the top of your list. Separate your personal and business bank accounts to protect personal assets. Optimize your business website and drive more traffic. Along with that, get the correct insurance for your business and protect your entity in Virginia.

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