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Connecticut DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

Connecticut DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

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Connecticut DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

If you’re planning to start a business in Connecticut using a specific name, you may need to register for a business name. Business name registration is commonly referred to as a Connecticut DBA or “Doing Business As,” but is officially called a Trade Name. 

To see if you need to register for a Connecticut Trade Name and steps on how to register, check out our guide.

Related: How to start a business in Connecticut

Who needs to register for a Connecticut Trade Name?

The requirements and need to register for a Trade Name vary depending on the type of business structure. Full details are available in Connecticut State Statute CT Gen Stat § 35-1.1 

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA. The legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which doesn’t get registered in Connecticut. Using the owner’s name for the business name works for many self-employed business owners, however many entrepreneurs want to operate under a distinct and brandable business name.

To register a Connecticut Trade Name, an application is filed with the Town Clerk in every town where business activities will be conducted or transacted. For example, if you are starting a business and have a retail store in Hartford, you would only need to file with the Hartford Town Clerk. On the other hand, if you are a landscaper and work in a number of towns, a Trade Name Registration will need to be filed in each of the towns where the landscaper has clients.

Related: How to start a sole proprietorship in Connecticut

A corporation and Limited Liability Company won’t typically register for a Connecticut DBA since a unique entity name is created during the entity formation process. However, some will want to register for a DBA if they have another business or brand name they want to operate in addition to the legal name of the business. This can allow multiple businesses to operate with the liability protection of a Connecticut corporation or Limited Liability Company without having to form another entity.

Steps to Register a Connecticut Trade Name

Sole Proprietorship & Partnership

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

Before a new business name can be registered, the proposed name must be checked with the Office of the Town Clerk to ensure it isn’t being used or is too similar to another local business. Some Town Clerks offer the option to search Trade Name records on their website; otherwise, you will have to look at the alphabetical listing of all registered trade names in their office.

Step 2: Fill out the Trade Name Certificate Form

Some Town Clerks allow you to file the Trade Name registration form online, while others require you to submit it in person or by mail.

Common information found on the form includes:

  • The type of business entity
  • What the business does
  • Proposed Trade Name of the business
  • Street address of the business
  • Name, address, and phone number of the owner(s)

Step 3: File the Form

Physically submitted forms must be notarized before signing. A notary is usually present at the Town Clerk’s office at no cost.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Bizee and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

Corporation, Limited Liability Company, and Limited Partnership

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies will need to do a statewide and local search to see if the name they want to use is available. A State of Connecticut business name search can be done on the Connecticut Secretary of State website, while the local search can be done through the Town Clerk.

The DBA being registered will not be able to use the entity designator such as corporation, corp, inc, LLC, Limited Liability Company, etc.

Step 2: File the Application for Reservation of Name Form

The Application for Reservation of Name Form is available on the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website.

Connecticut DBA FAQs

How much does a Connecticut Trade Name cost?

The filing fee varies by town but usually costs between $5 and $15.

Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Connecticut DBA?

Trade Names can’t be registered using words that are related to banks, trusts, savings, and insurance unless the business is licensed to provide those services.

A Trade Name also can’t use a business entity suffix that is different from the type of entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.

Can someone use my business name after registering a Connecticut DBA?

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Connecticut, it does very little to stop someone else from operating a business under that name in other states.

If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a federal trademark through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Learn more about trademarking a business name.

Does a DBA need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number (also informally called a business tax ID number or federal ID number) is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.

Related: How to register for an EIN in Connecticut

What is the difference between a Connecticut Trade Name and a business license?

These are actually two different business registrations. In addition to the Connecticut Trade Name registration, most businesses will also need a business license. The licenses a business will need vary depending on what the business does and local registration requirements.

Related: What business licenses are needed in Connecticut?

Sources

  1. CT Gen Stat § 35-1 ↩︎

Connecticut DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

Connecticut DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

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