Our work is reader-supported, meaning that we may earn a commission from the products and services mentioned.

West Virginia DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

West Virginia DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

Advertising Disclosure

Advertising
Disclosure

West Virginia DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

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

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

Related: How to start a business in West Virginia

Who needs to register for a West Virginia Trade Name?

The requirements and need to register a Trade Name are organized under West Virginia Statutes1.  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 West Virginia DBA. By default, the name of a sole proprietorship and general partnership is the owner(s) legal name. For example, if Kyle Reese starts a business repairing electronics operating under the name Kyle Reese, he doesn’t need to register for a Trade Name in West Virginia.  If Kyle decides to name his business Kyle’s Electronics Repair or even Kyle Reese’s Electronics Repair, then he will need to register.

Related: How to start a sole proprietorship in West Virginia

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

What are the Steps to file a DBA in West Virginia?

Sole Proprietorships & Partnerships

Step 1: Register with the West Virginia State Tax Department

The first step in registering for a Trade Name in West Virginia is to register with the West Virginia State Tax Department. The West Virginia Secretary of State won’t process the Trade Name Registration application until the business has registered.

Step 2: Verify Name Availability

An individual, sole proprietorship, or general partnership may not register a name that is the same or similar to another name registered with the West Virginia State Tax Department.  Learn how to do a business name search in West Virginia.

Step 3: Fill out the Trade Name Registration (Form TN-1)

Next, fill out the Trade Name Registration Form. The form is available for download or online through the One Stop Business Portal. Information needed on the TN-1 form includes:

  • Fictitious name being registered
  • Name and address of the owner(s)
  • Contact name, phone number, and email
  • Signature of applicant

Step 4: Submit the Paperwork

The paperwork can be submitted online, by mail, or through one of the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Business Service Centers:

Charleston: 1615 Washington Street East Charleston, WV 25311
Clarksburg: 200 West Main Street Clarksburg, WV 26301
Martinsburg: 229 E. Martin Street Martinsburg, WV 25401

If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Secretary of State at 866-767-8683 or business@wvsos.gov

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.

Corporations & Limited Liability Companies

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

A West Virginia LLC or corporation may not register a name that is the same or similar to another business in West Virginia.

Names can be searched on the Secretary of State’s website.  Learn how to do a business name search in West Virginia.

Step 2: Fill out the Trade Name Registration (Form NR-3)

The NR-3 form is available for download or online through the One Stop Business Portal. Information needed on the NR-3 form includes:

Information requested on the form includes:

  • The current legal name of the business
  • Trade Name being applied for
  • Address of the principal office
  • Name, phone number, title, and signature of the applicant

Step 3: Submit the Form

The paperwork can be submitted online, by mail, or through one of the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Business Service Centers:

Charleston: 1615 Washington Street East Charleston, WV 25311
Clarksburg: 200 West Main Street Clarksburg, WV 26301
Martinsburg: 229 E. Martin Street Martinsburg, WV 25401

West Virginia Trade Name FAQs

How much does a DBA cost in West Virginia?

Sole Proprietorships & Partnerships – $0

Corporations & LLCs
– Standard processing (5-10 business days) – $25
– 24-hour processing – $50
– 2-hour processing – $275
– 1-hour processing – $525

How long does it take to process the West Virginia Trade Name application?

Normal processing is 5-10 business days, but expedited processing is available for an additional fee.

After registering the Trade Name, can someone steal my business name?

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in West Virginia, it does very little to stop someone else from operating that business name in other states. If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark.

Related: How to trademark a business name

Are there any Trade Name restrictions?

Trade Names can’t be registered using words that are related to banking or engineering unless the business is licensed to provide those services.

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 register for an EIN in West Virginia

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

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

Sources

  1. West Virginia Statutes §47-8-2 ↩︎

West Virginia DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

West Virginia DBA / Trade Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some (but not all) of the links on StartUp101.com are affiliate links. This means that a special tracking code is used and that we may make a small commission on the sale of an item if you purchase through one of these links. The price of the item is the same for you whether it is an affiliate link or not, and using affiliate links helps us to maintain this website.

StartUp101.com is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Our mission is to help businesses start and promoting inferior products and services doesn’t serve that mission. We keep the opinions fair and balanced and not let the commissions influence our opinions.