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How to Register Your Business Name in Dallas, Texas

Are you revved up to launch your new business venture in the Big D?

Before you start spreading the word about your awesome products or services, there’s an important step you need to take – registering your business name.

This not only makes your business official but also helps protect your brand and establishes a reliable point of contact for your customers.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the simple process of registering your business name in Dallas, Texas. Let’s dive in!

Understanding DBAs (Doing Business As)

You might be wondering, “Wait, isn’t my business name the same as what I put on my business formation documents?”

Not always!

Let’s clear up a common term:

  • DBA (Doing Business As): A DBA is a fictitious name (or trade name) that operates differently from your legal business name. If you’re a sole proprietor, your legal business name would be your full name. If you’ve formed an LLC or Corporation, your legal name is that entity’s official name with the state. It’s what will be on your tax records and official papers. A DBA is the name you use in the day-to-day for branding and marketing.

Why Should I Register a DBA in Dallas?

Here are some strong reasons to register your DBA:

  • Brand Protection: It prevents other businesses from operating under the same name or a confusingly similar name.
  • Banking: Most banks require a filed DBA to open a business bank account under your brand name.
  • Professionalism: A registered DBA demonstrates to your customers and partners that you are a legitimate, established business.
  • Legal Requirements: Many contracts and permits may require you to operate under your registered DBA.

How to Register Your Business Name in Dallas, Texas: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Craft a Unique and Memorable Business Name

Let’s face it – in the bustling metropolis of Dallas, you want your business name to stand out! Here are some tips:

  • Brainstorming: Jot down keywords related to your industry, values, and brand personality. Check out tools like online business name generators for inspiration.
  • Keep it simple: Choose a name that’s easy to say, spell, and remember.
  • Convey Your Brand: Consider how your business name reflects your products or services, and the audience you are aiming to attract.
  • Check Availability: This is crucial! Before jumping the gun, ensure your desired name isn’t already taken. Use the following resources:

Step 2: File Your Assumed Name Certificate (DBA)

Now it’s time to make it official! Here’s a breakdown of the filing process:

  • Get the Form: Download the Assumed Name Certificate directly from the Dallas County Clerk’s website:
  • Fill it Out: Complete the form carefully. You’ll need to provide:
    • Your chosen DBA
    • Physical business address
    • Names and addresses of all business owners
  • Notarize It: Get the form notarized. You’ll find notaries at many banks, UPS stores, and libraries.
  • Submit Your Form: Two options here:
    • In person: Take the form to the Dallas County Clerk’s office (George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building, at 600 Commerce St., Dallas, TX 75202). All owners need to appear with valid government-issued photo IDs.
    • Mail It In: Mail the notarized form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope and filing fee to Dallas County Clerk, Records Building, 509 Main Street, Dallas, TX, 75202

Step 3: Filing Fees

How much does it cost to file a DBA in Texas?

You’ll need to pay certain fees when submitting your Assumed Name Certificate:

  • Base Fee: The Dallas County filing fee is $24.00.
  • Additional Owners: There’s an extra $0.50 charge for each owner beyond the first listed on the form.
  • Notary Acknowledgment: A $2.00 fee applies if you get your document notarized at the County Clerk’s office.

Important Considerations

It’s not quite “one and done” with DBAs.

Keep these factors in mind:

  • Where You Operate: If you are doing business in several counties within Texas, you need to file a DBA in each of those counties.
  • Legal Structures: If you’ve officially formed a Corporation or LLC, your initial entity filings with the state will typically include your official business name. However, if you later want to adopt a different DBA, you will still need to go through the Assumed Name Certificate process.
  • Renewal: Mark your calendar! Assumed Name Certificates in Texas expire after ten years. Make sure to renew on time to avoid a lapse in your DBA usage.

What if I Don’t Want to use a DBA?

Absolutely fine! However, keep in mind:

  • Sole Proprietors: If you’re a sole proprietor (meaning you haven’t formed an LLC or Corporation), your legal business name is just your first and last name. That will technically be the name on contracts, tax forms, etc. There’s no problem at all with this, just be aware of it.
  • Branding Limitations: It can be harder to build a distinctive brand when utilizing your personal name alone. This is the strategic advantage of a DBA for marketing and customer connection.

How to start a business in Dallas

Got that entrepreneurial itch?

Then Dallas, with its thriving economy, supportive business environment, and diverse population, is a fantastic place to plant your idea and watch it grow.

In this section, we’ll provide a roadmap of everything you need to know to successfully navigate the exciting path of starting a business in Dallas.

Buckle up, and let’s get started!

Step 1: Ignite Your Passion – Finding Your Business Idea

A successful business is often built on something beyond simply making money. Here’s how to tap into potential winning ideas:

  • Solve a problem: What difficulties do you notice in your daily life or community? Could you craft a product or service that solves them?
  • Follow your passion: What makes you tick? Turning a hobby or skill into a business can be incredibly rewarding.
  • Identify market gaps: Look for under-served markets or opportunities to put a unique spin on an existing offering.
  • Brainstorm and validate: Talk to friends, potential customers, and industry experts to get feedback and gauge the viability of your idea.

Step 2: Chart Your Course – Creating a Business Plan

Don’t let the term “business plan” scare you! Think of it as your blueprint for success. Here’s a simplified list of what it should cover:

  • Executive Summary: A snapshot of your business – concept, target market, financial projections.
  • Market Analysis: Size of your target market, competitors, trends.
  • Products/Services: Description of what you’re offering and its unique benefits.
  • Marketing & Sales Strategy: How you’ll reach customers, pricing.
  • Financial Projections: Revenue expectations, costs, and anticipated profits.
  • Operations: Day-to-day plan, staffing, equipment or location needs.

Step 3: Make it Official – Choosing a Business Structure

Your business structure is its legal foundation. These are common options:

  • Sole Proprietorship: Simplest option. One owner with full liability. (Great for many very small businesses).
  • Partnership: Two or more owners share assets and liabilities.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): Hybrid structure giving you some liability protection without being as formal as a corporation. A popular choice!
  • Corporation: Formal structure with shareholders, good for businesses aiming to scale rapidly or seek investors.

Step 4: Handle the Legalities

This IS Texas, so let’s get compliant!

  • Register with the Texas Secretary of State: Make your business entity official (if you formed an LLC or corporation). (
  • Obtain Your EIN: This is like your business’s social security number. Needed for taxes and opening bank accounts. (
  • Register for Texas Taxes: Sales tax, franchise tax, etc. Check the Texas Comptroller’s site for specifics relevant to your type of business:
  • Local Permits/Licenses: Look up licensing requirements in the city of Dallas and your specific industry.
  • DBA: Choose and register your business name (if different from your legal name) using the process covered in the previous blog post.

Step 5: Be Smart About Money – Funding Your Venture

How you fuel your business is key. Consider these options:

  • Bootstrapping: Using your own savings, sweat equity – great if you can!
  • Loans: Traditional bank loans or SBA-backed loans.
  • Grants: Some business types may qualify for local or national grants.
  • Investors: Angel investors or venture capital (when seeking aggressive growth).

Step 6: Build Your Brand and Online Presence

In today’s world, this is non-negotiable:

  • Website: Even a simple site tells folks you’re legitimate.
  • Social Media: Choose platforms where your customers hang out.
  • Branding: Consistent logo, colors, and voice across everything.

Step 7: Launch day! (And what comes after)

Don’t wait for “perfect” – get out there! Then remember:

  • Network: Dallas has a vibrant business community. Get involved!
  • Customer Service: Stellar service builds loyalty and word-of-mouth.
  • Adapt and Pivot: Businesses evolve, stay flexible and analyze results.

Additional Resources for the Savvy Entrepreneur

Dallas is an incredible city full of resources for both new and established business owners. Check these out:

Wrapping Up: It’s Easier Than You Think!

The process of registering your business name in Dallas, Texas is more straightforward than you might expect.

By following these steps, you’ll be ready to roll out your new brand – protected and poised for success.

From the team here at, best of luck in your entrepreneurial journey in Dallas!

Ready to make your Dallas business official?

Leave a comment below and let us know what exciting business name you’ve chosen – and any questions you might still have!

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