Starting a company

How To File A DBA In Missouri

Key Highlights

  • Learn more about DBAs, or doing business as, and how to utilize them when a company uses a name different than its legal one.
  • When a DBA is required, understand that different Missouri counties have additional filing fees.
  • Learn more about the requirements for DBA names in Missouri and why it's essential to ensure the name is valid and pronounceable.
  • Consider how crucial it is to consider any potential legal and tax repercussions before completing a DBA application. 

What is DBA?

Knowledge is a powerful tool in the global arena of enterprise. Doing commercial As (DBA) is an acronym that significantly impacts your branding, marketing, and legal compliance activities while doing commercial operations in the United States under a name other than your own.

It's crucial to remember that DBA may sometimes refer to different ideas. Others create entirely fictitious identities that bear no relation to their real company names, while some utilize "Assumed Name" or "Fictitious Business Name" to communicate the same notion. Despite appearing little, these details significantly affect your company's financial and legal situation. Therefore, it is in the best interest of a wise business owner to understand these nuances and how they apply to their particular circumstance.

Remember that success in the business world depends on information. Furthermore, a thorough knowledge of DBA is only one aspect of the overall picture. As a result, keep developing your business and refining your knowledge.

Why do you need a DBA?

In business, having a solid brand that people are familiar with reflects on a company's values and promises to its customers. To reflect a new strategy, hit a different market, or mend customer relations, a company can occasionally need to change its name.

DBA can be useful in certain situations. Doing business as, or DBA, is using a name other than the one the company legally uses. For instance, if XYZ Inc. wanted to launch a new product line called "ABC Products," the business would have to submit a DBA application to the appropriate regulatory body (often at the state or municipal level) to inform everyone.

The use of a DBA has numerous tactical and strategic benefits. Practically speaking, it may simplify creating bank accounts, acquiring business licenses, and loan applications. It can be challenging to prove that a company using a different name from its legal name is the same thing, which can cause delays and issues. However, a DBA clarifies how a company's trade name and legal name relate to one another, simplifying a lot of administrative work.

A DBA can also assist companies in achieving their strategic goals. For instance, a business could decide to concentrate on a particular product line or branch out into a new industry and create a distinctive brand identity that resonates with its target consumer. A name change could also be required due to a merger, acquisition, or shift in the primary market. In these circumstances, a DBA may help by alerting clients and stakeholders of the changes, leading to a more seamless and clear transition.

How to set up a DBA in Missouri

The important actions you must take if you want to create a DBA in Missouri are broken out below:

See if a name is available

You should check to see if the name you wish to use for your DBA is accessible. To achieve this, use the online database of licensed business names maintained by the Missouri Secretary of State.

Registration of a Fictitious Name

A "Fictitious Name Registration" must be submitted to the state once you've determined that your preferred name is available. By registering, you inform the state that you intend to operate a business under an identity apart from your own.

Advertise in a Regional Newspaper

Following registration, you must publish a notification of your new name in your community's newspaper. This notice aims to notify the public about your new name and allow them to protest if they believe it is too close to their own. You must submit an affidavit of publication to the state and publish your notice once every week for three consecutive weeks. 

Ensure That You Meet Any Other Legal Obligations

Finally, check to see if you've covered any additional legal obligations relevant to your company. This can entail getting licenses or permissions, signing up with the Missouri Department of Revenue, and abiding by construction and zoning regulations.

Missouri DBA name restrictions

Businesses must know the limitations of establishing a DBA (Doing Business As) in Missouri. These limitations are in place to guarantee that company names don't mislead or confuse the general public and to stop enterprises from adopting names that are too similar to those of already established businesses.

Distinguishable Names

All DBA names must be distinct from the identities of other registered businesses to comply with Missouri law. This implies that a name cannot be utilized for a DBA if it was previously used by another company in Missouri. A DBA cannot be established under the name "Smith Construction" if "Smith and Sons Construction" is already the name of a corporation in Missouri.

Disallowed Terms and Phrases

Additionally, Missouri law forbids using specific terms and phrases in company names. DBA names cannot contain terms like "bank," "credit union," or "insurance" unless the company is authorized to offer those particular services. Additionally, unless the company is a charity organization, no phrases that allude to a relationship with a government agency or imply that the company is one may be used.

Performing a Complete Search

It's crucial to understand that when a DBA application is made, the Missouri Secretary of State's office must thoroughly check for existing business names. Owners of businesses must make sure their DBA name stands out from others already in use in the state.

Obtaining legal advice

It may be prudent to speak with a lawyer or other legal expert knowledgeable in Missouri company law if there is any doubt about the proposed DBA name and if it conforms with Missouri's regulations. They can offer assistance in negotiating the rules and guarantee that the DBA name complies with Missouri law.

Forms needed to file a DBA in Missouri

Several crucial procedures must be taken to establish a DBA (doing business as) in Missouri. Searching the Missouri Secretary of State's online database of registered company names is the first step in determining whether your preferred name is already taken. If the name is accessible, you must submit a Fictitious Name Registration to the state, informing them that you will conduct business under an identity other than yours. Once your registration has been submitted, you must post a notice of your new name once a week for three continuous weeks in a local newspaper, and you must then submit an affidavit of publication to the state. Last but not least, be sure to take care of any additional legal obligations that pertain to your particular business, like getting required licenses or permissions and abiding by applicable zoning and construction laws. Consider speaking with a lawyer or other legal expert knowledgeable about Missouri business law if you need assistance understanding the procedure or navigating the rules.

Missouri DBA filing & registration

You must go through the DBA (doing business as) process of registering with the Missouri Secretary of State's office if you intend to run your business in Missouri under a fake name. The legal functioning of your company under a different name depends on the successful registration of your DBA.

Two documents, the Registration of Fictitious Name and the Assumed Name Certificate (if necessary by your county), must be filled out and submitted to register your DBA in Missouri. The Registration of Fictitious Name form requests information about your company name, address, and the person or entity using the fictitious name.

Remembering that all DBA names must be distinct from those of other registered firms to comply with Missouri law is indispensable. Additionally, corporate names do not allow specific words that allude to a relationship with a government entity or imply that the company is a nonprofit organization.

After completing the necessary paperwork, you may submit them electronically or physically to the Missouri Secretary of State's office. Your DBA registration requires a filing fee, the amount of which varies by jurisdiction. You will be able to lawfully operate a business in Missouri under your selected fake name after your registration has been authorized.

Suppose you have questions concerning the paperwork you must submit or the DBA registration procedure in Missouri. In that case, you may visit the Missouri Secretary of State's website or speak with a company attorney. For your company to be able to function under a different name legally, you must make sure you take all essential measures.

Missouri DBA tax considerations

The tax repercussions must be considered while operating a business in Missouri using a fake name. While establishing your DBA is essential to conduct business under a different name lawfully, it does not relieve you of your tax duties.

As a sole proprietor, you must use Schedule C to include any business-related income and costs on your personal tax return. Corporations, LLCs, and partnerships must submit their tax filings. No matter how your company is set up, you'll need to get an EIN from the IRS for tax purposes.

The requisite state and local taxes, such as sales tax, use tax, and others, must be collected and paid while conducting business in Missouri under a DBA. Your tax liabilities will vary depending on the goods or services you provide and the location of your company. The Missouri Department of Revenue will issue you a sales tax license, and you'll also need to collect sales tax on any applicable transactions.

Maintaining accurate records of your business's earnings and outlays is critical to ensure you're paying the appropriate taxes. The complexity of tax rules and regulations may be navigated, and compliance is ensured by working with a tax professional.

You may prevent any possible tax problems and concentrate on expanding your business by remaining knowledgeable on the tax implications of operating a business under a DBA in Missouri.

How much does a DBA filing cost in Missouri?

Depending on the county you file in, fees are associated with registering a DBA in Missouri. While the filing cost for a DBA registration ranges from $7 to $25, some counties may impose additional processing and publishing costs.

In addition to the filing price, you can also be responsible for paying to publish a legal notice in a neighborhood newspaper. All DBA registrations must, by law, be publicized for a set amount of time in a newspaper. Depending on the newspaper and the length of the notice, this publication's price may change.

It's substantial to remember that registering a DBA entails costs for lawfully operating your company under a different name. You may avoid legal issues and concentrate on growing your business by establishing your DBA and paying any necessary costs.


To sum up, following the correct procedures to properly register your DBA if you intend to run a business in Missouri under a fictitious name is critical. This entails finishing and submitting the necessary paperwork to the Missouri Secretary of State's office, paying any fees due, and printing a legal notice in the neighborhood paper. Furthermore, it's crucial to remember the financial implications of running a business under a DBA and to ensure you're collecting and paying the proper state and local taxes. You may prevent the possibility of legal or financial problems and concentrate on expanding your business by remaining knowledgeable on the requirements for operating a business in Missouri under a fake name, including tax duties.

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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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