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Virginia DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

Virginia DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

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Virginia DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

If you’re planning to start a business in Virginia under a name other than your own, you will need to register for a business name. Business name registration is commonly referred to as a Virginia DBA, “Doing Business As, but is officially referred to as a Fictitious Name. 

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

Related: How to start a business in Virginia

Who needs to register for a Virginia Fictitious Name?

The requirements for registering a Fictitious Business Name are organized under Virginia state law § 59.1-691.  These requirements vary depending on the type of business entity.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common business structures to register for a Virginia Fictitious Name. 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 Name registration.

For example, if John Smith starts a consulting business in Virginia and operates under the name John Smith, he doesn’t need to register. However, if John decides to name his business Smith Consulting or even John Smith Consulting, he will need to register.

Related: How to start a sole proprietorship in Virginia

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

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.

What are the steps to file a Virginia Fictitious Name?

The steps to fill out the DBA name paperwork vary depending on the business structure.

Sole Proprietorship & Partnership

Step 1: Fill out the Form
Download the Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name Form for an individual Form SCC59.1-70IN or file online through the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) website. Information requested on the form includes:

  • The name of the individual who is operating the business
  • The Assumed Name being registered
  • Business address

Step 2: Submit the Form
The Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name is filed with the Clerk’s Office of the Virginia SCC online or by mail.

The address for sending by mail:
Virginia State Corporation Commission
Clerk’s Office
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23219-1197

Corporation, Limited Partnership & Limited Liability Company

The process of registering an Assumed Name is very similar to the sole proprietorship and partnership.

Step 1: Fill out the Form
To begin, download the Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name for an entity Form SCC59.1-70-BE or file online. Information requested on the form includes:

  • The name of the entity applying for an Assumed Name
  • The Assumed Name being registered
  • Type of business entity
  • Where the entity was formed
  • Name and address of the owner
  • The mailing address of the business

Step 2: Submit the Form to the State Corporation Commission
The Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name is filed with the Clerk’s Office of the State Corporation Commission online or by mail.

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.

Virginia Fictitious Name FAQs

How much does a Virginia DBA cost?

The filing fee to register the Virginia Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name is $10.

After registering the Fictitious Name, can someone use my business name?

Registering the Fictitious Name will not keep anyone else from registering the exact same name in Virginia or another state. If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark.

Related: How to trademark a business name

Does a DBA need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Service (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 apply for an EIN

Are there any name requirements in Virginia?

No person may use an assumed or fictitious name in the conduct of the person’s business to intentionally misrepresent the geographic origin or location of the person

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

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

Sources

  1. Virginia state law § 59.1-69 ↩︎

Virginia DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

Virginia DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

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