What is a DBA in California?

A 'Doing Business As' name, or DBA, is the name under which a business sells its goods or services in California. If a business owner wants to sell anything in California under a name other than their own, they need a DBA name. Unlike many other states, California doesn't have a state level 'Doing Business As' name registry - instead, DBA names are handled at the county or city level. Each locality differs in what it requires from businesses registering a DBA name within its boundaries, but typically the local government requires the person registering the name to search for any conflicting DBA names, fill out a standard form, pay a fee, and publish that the business will be selling good or services under the new DBA name in a local newspaper. DBA names are needed for some of the most rudimentary parts of running a business, like advertising or opening a bank account.

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