How to File a Washington D.C DBA (Doing Business As) – DBA DC Guide [2022]

Filing a DBA in Washington D.C seems difficult and stressful, but you'll enjoy the process after reading this article. This guide will take away any unnecessary step and explain the simple and straightforward ways to file an assumed business name in D.C. So, read on to file a DBA in Washington D.C.

Important! Please keep in mind that DBA is not a business structure, so it won't protect you from liabilities, lawsuits, or any other unforeseen situations. DBA stands for Doing Business As. – often precedes the name under which a business operates, which is not the legal name of the business.

Therefore, before starting, make sure you understand the difference between informal business structures such as sole proprietorship and formal ones like corporations and LLCs.

To register or renew the trademark, trade name, or service mark for your company in Washington D.C you need to file the application to the Secretary of State. Here is what you need to do:

Washington D.C Business Entity Search

Your company’s trade name should be unique and have not been acquired by any other entity in Washington D.C. Moreover, this name must also meet the business name requirements of Washington D.C.  

First, you have to search the Washington D.C Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’Business License Verification website for the DBA, Business, & Fictitious names. Check the portal thoroughly to know whether the name that you wish to have for your business has already been taken by someone or not. Make sure, this name isn't already in use.

Note: You can also find a complete guide on business name search here.

Once you are done searching, the next step is to review the naming requirements of the state of Washington D.C. In general, your DBA should not include:

  • LLC, Incorporated, Corp, or any business entity suffix unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, etc.
  • The words such as “bank,” “credit union,” “banking,” “insurance,” or related words without the prior approval of the Mayor.

Register Your Washington D.C DBA ($55)

You can file a Washington D.C DBA online with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affair or by downloading the Assumed Name Application and sending it to:

DBA Filing Mail Address:
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 92300
Washington, DC 20090

Top Tip:

Instead of doing it yourself, save some time by hiring a reliable formation service like ZenBusiness. You can see editors' Review on ZenBusiness to decide if it's the best choice for your company.

The following information must include in the Washington D.C trade name form:

  • Your business name and adress
  • Owners/partners of the business and addresses
  • Entity type (eg; LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
  • Trade name's description

Renew, Change or Withdraw Your Washington D.C DBA

Renew Your Fictitious Name With the State ($55)

After every two years, the Certificate of Washington D.C Assumed Business Name expires. The filing date is due on April 1st. So for the renewal of DBA in Washington D.C process file online or complete the TN-2 Trade Name Renewal form and send it to:

DBA Renewal Mail Address:
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 92300
Washington, DC 20090

Change Your Fictitious Name ($55)

If you wish to make changes in your Washington D.C assumed business name, you can do it by filling the respective TN-4 Trade Name Amendment Form and sending it to the address given in the above section.

Withdraw Your Fictitious Name ($55)

You can cancel your Washington D.C assumed business name by completing the TN-3 Trade Name Cancellation Form and sending it to the address mentioned in the renewal section.

Editor's Insight

Filing a Washington D.C fictitious business name, aka a Washington D.C DBA (doing business as), is an easy and straightforward process. If you want to save time and effort, LLC filing companies like LegalZoom and ZenBusiness can help you get that at a fraction of the cost.

However, if you are interested in DIY, you just need to follow the above-mentioned step-by-step guide or see how to Get a DBA in any of the 50 states.

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