Starting a company

How To File A DBA In Connecticut

Key Highlights

  • Understand the importance of DBAs and how to use them.
  • Discover how utilizing a DBA may help with branding and marketing.
  • Learn about Connecticut's DBA name restrictions and why making sure the name is both pronounceable and legal is important.
  • Consider how important it is to weigh the potential legal and tax repercussions before filing for a DBA and, if necessary, get guidance from an attorney or accountant.

What is DBA?

In order to successfully traverse the corporate world, one must be acutely familiar with and understand a wide range of concepts and terms. This includes the standard DBA, or "Doing Business As." This expression refers to a situation when a business uses a name other than the one it initially registered with the State of Connecticut. Although DBA is the most common term for this idea in many nations, it is essential to remember that different names are used elsewhere. Thus one must be aware of this. The term "fictitious business name," which has the same basic meaning as its more popular cousin, is one of these alternative terms. It is important to stress that, in the context of using the word "fictitious," the name in the issue is only a pseudonym used for administrative purposes and does not represent the true legal designation of the organization. To prevent any legal snags or oversights in this area, staying watchful and current on these intricacies is crucial.

Why do you need a DBA?

There are several reasons why a business could decide to use a DBA. For example, it may be to create a brand name that captures the essence of the company's products or services. By using a memorable or distinctive name, a company may stand out from the competitors and draw in more customers. Similarly, a business could enter a new market under a different name to avoid confusing potential clients or create a unique brand identity.

Additionally, businesses may need to rebrand themselves for strategic purposes or alter their name due to mergers or acquisitions. For instance, a firm could change its name to reflect a strategy change or separate itself from a bad reputation or connection.

Regardless of the reason, it's crucial to understand the legal ramifications of using a DBA. Businesses must submit a DBA application to most states' relevant state or local government agencies. A corporation may be subject to lawsuits and other legal problems if a DBA is not filed, which might incur costly penalties and other consequences.

Recognizing that using a DBA does not establish a new legal company entity is equally essential. Simply said, a DBA is a firm's alias or trade name to do business. Therefore, companies must comply with all applicable laws and rules when utilizing a DBA, including filing taxes and acquiring all required permissions and licenses. Always err on the side of caution and follow all applicable laws.

How to set up a DBA in Connecticut

A few important actions are required to create a DBA (Doing Business As) in Connecticut if you want to succeed. 

Determine a DBA name

First things first: selecting a business name can seem straightforward, but choosing one that sticks out from the crowd is crucial. You require a name that people will remember, that accurately represents your company and is also legitimate. It's time to register with the Connecticut Secretary of State once you've decided on a name. This procedure ensures that no other company in the state may use the same name.

Obtain any necessary licenses and permits

After registering, you'll need to get any licenses and permissions required to run your firm lawfully. This stage may differ based on your area and industry. For instance, a liquor license is required if you intend to sell alcohol and a health permit is required to sell food. Make sure to investigate and comprehend any specifications unique to your company.

Acquisition of required tax identification numbers

It's time to establish your company's legal framework and get any required tax identification numbers. The sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, and corporation are small enterprises' most popular business forms. Selecting the structure that best satisfies your company's demands and goals is critical because each structure has advantages and disadvantages. A tax identification number also allows you to pay taxes, recruit staff, and register a company bank account.

Connecticut DBA name restrictions

To maintain compliance with state rules, one must traverse specific legal constraints while choosing a DBA name in Connecticut. Businesses must specifically check that the name they have selected is not already used by another firm registered with the Connecticut Secretary of State to avoid legal issues and significant financial fines. Businesses must also refrain from utilizing names that might mislead the public. This includes names that imply an untrue connection to a particular industry or profession or that the firm delivers services it does not. It's a delicate balancing act, but preserving customer confidence and staying out of trouble with the law is necessary. Although a DBA name need not contain any particular words or phrases, firms may choose to do so to reflect their legal structure. Examples of such identifiers are "LLC" and "Inc." This may be very beneficial for building trust and professionalism with clients and consumers.

To make sure the chosen name is distinct and not already used by another organization in Connecticut, it is essential to conduct a comprehensive search of existing business names before deciding on a DBA name. Businesses may choose a good and legally acceptable DBA name in Connecticut by adhering to these rules and avoiding legal hazards.

Forms needed to file a DBA in Connecticut

Businesses in Connecticut that use a DBA must submit a Trade Name Certificate to the Secretary of the State. A form that is available on the website of the Secretary of State must be filled out and submitted to get the certificate. Basic company details, including the legal name of the company and the name it will be doing business under, are requested on the Trade Name Certificate form. The address of your company and a succinct description of what kind of business it is must also be included. The Trade Name Certificate form must be signed and notarized after completion before being delivered to the Secretary of the state's office. In Connecticut, a Trade Name Certificate must be filed for a price of $10.

It's crucial to remember that companies using a DBA must renew their Trade Name Certificate every five years. Failure to renew your certificate may result in losing your business name, penalties, or other legal repercussions. Connecticut businesses might also need any necessary permissions or licenses to work in their particular industry or profession besides the Trade Name Certificate. To make sure you are adhering to all legal obligations, it is advised that you speak with a lawyer or a business expert.

Connecticut DBA filing & registration

You must submit a DBA (Doing Business As) form to the Connecticut Secretary of State if you want to start a business and use a name different from your legal one. The actions you must do to file and register your DBA are listed below:

Choose a unique DBA name

One must know several crucial factors to properly file a Trade Name Certificate in Connecticut. It's crucial to remember that a DBA name in Connecticut must be distinctive and easily differentiated from any other business entity already registered with the state. To ensure your name is not already in use, it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive check of current business names before deciding on your DBA name. 

File a Trade Name Certificate

Contacting the Connecticut Secretary of State is essential for successfully filing a Trade Name Certificate. Your legal name, DBA name, and business address are all precisely listed in this important document. The Connecticut Secretary of State's internet portal or postal service is acceptable for submitting this certificate. Please be aware that this procedure has a filing fee.

Pay the fee

The certificate must be submitted with the requisite money. The actual sum of the stated charge will depend on the particular filing type selected. In 2023, submitting a Trade Name Certificate electronically will cost $60, while sending one in the mail will cost $70. Those who want the most current and correct information on these issues are advised to contact the Connecticut Secretary of State immediately.

Publish a notice

In Connecticut, publishing a notice in a neighborhood newspaper within 30 days of filing a Trade Name Certificate for your DBA is required. The Connecticut Secretary of State must receive a copy of this notice, which notifies the public of your new DBA name and serves as compliance documentation. It is significant to remember that your Trade Name Certificate may be rejected if you don't follow this condition.

Renew your DBA

Your DBA name will have legal recognition in Connecticut for five years after you have duly registered it. But do not allow time to mislead you into a false feeling of security; if you want to continue using your DBA name, you must be aware of the renewal procedure.

Connecticut DBA tax considerations

You need to be aware of various limitations while selecting a DBA (Doing Business As) name in Connecticut. The name you choose cannot already be used by another business organization registered with the Secretary of State of Connecticut. Additionally, your company's DBA name cannot indicate that it is a government organization or connected to one.

According to Connecticut law, your company name cannot deceive customers. You cannot, for instance, choose a name for your company that implies services it does not supply. Additionally, you aren't allowed to call your company something that suggests it belongs to a particular sector of the economy or line of work if it doesn't.

It's crucial to remember that Connecticut does not mandate that companies use specific terms or phrases in their DBA names. To clarify your company structure, you might want to consider adding "LLC" or "Inc." to your name.

Make sure your DBA name is original and not already in use by another business in Connecticut by conducting a comprehensive search of current company names before deciding on it. By adhering to these rules, you may choose an appropriate DBA name for your company in Connecticut and stay clear of future legal problems.

How much does a DBA filing cost in Connecticut?

Depending on your filing option, the charges associated with obtaining a DBA (Doing Business As) in the wonderful state of Connecticut may change. It costs just $10 to register your DBA online through the website of the Connecticut Secretary of State. However, there is an additional $20 filing charge if you submit your registration through the mail.

Additionally, you must adhere to Connecticut law's requirement that you publish a notice of your DBA filing in a newspaper in the city or municipality where your business is situated. However, it's essential to keep in mind that the price of this publication may change based on elements like the newspaper chosen and the size of the notice. It is necessary to remember that these charges are separate from any other expenses involved with starting and running a business in Connecticut. These costs could cover establishing your company organization, acquiring the necessary licenses and permissions, and adhering to numerous federal, state, and local laws.


In conclusion, it is crucial to thoroughly investigate the distinctiveness and legal conformance of your intended doing-business-as (DBA) name in the context of Connecticut business. It’s important to carefully browse the database of registered trade names to avoid misappropriating an existing company's identity. 

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Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

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