Forming a Limited Liability Company is the easiest and most flexible way to start your business. LLCs provide personal asset protection which shields you from being personally liable for business debts. LLCs also allow you to spend less time doing paperwork and more time operating your business.
The most notable benefit provided to
S Corps is their “pass through” taxation status, which can help owners reduce their overall tax liability. Also, S Corporations are unique in that they have the ability to distribute stock, but only to a limited number owners.
Regulations vary, so it’s very important to understand the licensing rules where your business is located—failure to comply can have serious consequences. Fortunately, getting a business license is neither very expensive, nor very time consuming.
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Naming your business is an important branding exercise, but if you choose to name your business as anything other than your own personal name then you’ll need to register it with the appropriate authorities. This process is known as registering your “Doing Business As”.
A fictitious name is a business name that is different from your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation.
It’s important to note that when you form a business, the legal name of the business defaults to the name of the person or entity that owns the business, unless you choose to rename it and register it as a Doing Business name.
For example, consider this scenario: John Smith sets up a painting business. Rather than operate under his own name, John instead chooses to name his business: “John Smith Painting”. This name is considered an assumed name and John will need to register it with the appropriate local government agency.
The legal name of your business is required on all government forms and applications, including your application for employer tax IDs, licenses and permits.
What are the advantages of filing a DBA or fictitious business name?
Generally, a DBA is required if your business is structured as a sole-proprietorship or a partnership(this is because your legal name will be different from the business name). By structuring your business as a sole-proprietorship or a partnership, you will keep ongoing business costs low and filing requirements simple.
Can I open a bank account before my DBA is filed?
You should not be conducting business under your fictitious business name until you have filed a DBA statement. In addition, most banks will not allow you to open a business bank account until they see proof of the filed DBA. When you are doing business under a company name, you need a company bank account to accept payments. Most banks have policies regarding DBA statements. Make sure to keep the original copy for your records in case you need it for future transactions.
Will my fictitious business name expire?
A fictitious business name statement expires 5 years from the date it is filed in the office of the County Clerk . A renewal of a fictitious business name statement must be filed within 30 days prior to the date of expiration if you intend to continue doing business under that name as long as there are no changes from the original. A renewal only requires completion of the application. A renewal does not require publication.
How do I change fictitious business name?
You can change your Doing Business as name by first filing a “termination/abandonment” of DBA for the old name and then re-registering a new business name.
If I change the business address, am I required to update the records?
You are required to file an updated DBA to document all “material” changes. A change of the business address, business structure, and business name are all considered material changes.
Who is required to sign the Fictitious Business Name form?
If the registrant is an individual, the statement shall be signed by the individual; if a partnership or other association of persons, by a general partner; if a limited liability company, by a manager or officer; if a business trust, by a trustee; if a corporation, by an officer.
Do I need to file anything if I stop doing business under my FBN name?
A person who has filed a FBN may, upon ceasing to transact business in Los Angeles County under that fictitious business name, file a statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name. The statement is executed, filed and published in the same manner as a FBN.