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Nevada DBA / Fictitious Firm Name In 5 Easy Steps

Nevada DBA / Fictitious Firm Name In 5 Easy Steps

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Nevada DBA / Fictitious Firm Name In 5 Easy Steps

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

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

Related: Guide to starting a business in Nevada

Who needs to register for a Nevada Fictitious Firm Name?

Any person operating a business in Nevada with a name that is different from the legal name of the owners or is different from the legal name of a business registered with the Secretary of State (Corporation or LLC), the business has to file with the County Clerk of each county in which business is being conducted.  The requirements and need to register for a Fictitious Name vary, depending on the type of business entity.

A sole proprietorship and general partnership are the most common business structures to register for a Nevada DBA. By default, the name of a sole proprietorship and general partnership is the owner(s) legal name, but if the small business owner wants to operate under a specific name, they will need to complete the Fictitious Firm Name registration.

For example, if Blake Smith starts a power washing business in Nevada but doesn’t use a specific business name, he doesn’t have to register. However, if Blake decides to name his business Blake’s Power Washing, he will need to register.

Related: How to start a Nevada sole proprietorship

A corporation and Limited Liability Company won’t typically register for a Nevada 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 Nevada corporation or Limited Liability Company without having to form another entity.

What is a Fictitious Firm Name good for?

Under Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 602, a Fictitious Firm Name Statement is required for Nevada businesses that want to operate under a name other than the legal name of the owners or entity.1 The DBA registration provides information on the people operating a business, so if there is an issue, the owners of a business can be tracked down.  

In addition to the legal requirement, a DBA offers other benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a business bank account, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.

Steps to Register Nevada Fictitious Firm Name?

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

Every business in the county where the business is located must have a unique name.

Before filing, a county records search will need to be done, and most counties have an online name search database.

For a complete list of contact information for county offices, visit the Nevada Secretary of State’s website.

Step 2: Obtain the Fictitious Firm Name Form

An FFN form will need to be obtained from every county in Nevada where business is conducted.  If physically operating in multiple counties, note that each county’s form is different and will have to be picked up individually.

Step 3: Fill out the Form

The FFN form is available from the County Clerk’s office.  Many Clerks have the forms online, and/or they are available to pick up from their office.

Information requested on the Fictitious Firm Name form typically includes:

  • The fictitious name being requested
  • Legal name of each person
  • Mailing address of the business
  • Owner’s name

Step 4: Notarize the Form

Before filing the Fictitious Firm Name form, be sure to have the form notarized.  Counties typically have notary public services available at no cost or with a minimal fee.

Step 5: Submit the Form

Submit the filing fee and form to the County Clerk. The clerk will provide a Fictitious Firm Name certificate.

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.

Nevada DBA FAQs

How much does it cost to register a Nevada Fictitious Firm Name?

The filing fee to register a Fictitious Firm Name varies by county but is typically $25.

Fictitious Names need to be renewed every five years.

Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Nevada DBA?

A Fictitious Firm Name 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.

DBAs also can’t be registered using words that are related to several types of businesses unless they are licensed by the state to provide these services. A few include:
– Banking – words such as bank, savings & loan, thrift, trustee, credit union, debt collection, etc., unless approved by the Nevada Commissioner of Financial Institutions
– Insurance – words such as adjuster, underwriter, annuity, bail, surety, bail bonds, fugitive recovery, etc., unless approved by the State Commissioner of Insurance
– Lending – words such as financial, mortgage, and mortgage banking, unless approved by the Nevada Commissioner of Mortage Lending.
– Engineering – words such as engineer, engineering, etc., unless approved by the State Board of Professional Engineers 
– Accounting – words such as auditor, auditing, accountant, CPA, etc., unless approved by the Nevada State Board of Accounting.
– Architecture – words such as interior design, architect, residential design, etc., unless approved by the State Board of Architecture.

Can someone steal my business name after registering a Fictitious Firm Name?

While registering your FFN will keep someone else from registering the exact name in Nevada, 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 an FFN need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number (often informally referred to as a tax 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 Nevada

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

These are actually two different business registrations. In addition to the Nevada 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 Nevada?

Sources

  1. Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 602 ↩︎

Nevada DBA / Fictitious Firm Name In 5 Easy Steps

Nevada DBA / Fictitious Firm Name In 5 Easy Steps

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