A Connecticut DBA (doing business as) is called a trade name. Connecticut trade name registration allows a business to operate under a name that’s different from its legal name.
Connecticut DBA registration won’t protect your personal assets. Forming a formal business structure like an LLC or corporation will give you liability protection along with a business name
Use our step by step guide below to get a DBA for your Connecticut business. For a look at DBA filing in another state, check out our other How to Get a DBA guides.
Register a Trade Name in CT
Registering a Connecticut trade name, also known as a DBA, is easy!
A DBA is only used for branding. A DBA doesn't offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For this reason, we strongly recommend that a DBA should only be used by a formal business structure such as an LLC or corporation for the purpose of adding new brands to an existing business.
If you are running an informal business (sole proprietorship or partnership), we strongly suggest forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets. The name of the LLC can be selected to act as the brand name for the business.
Learn How to File a DBA in Connecticut yourself in two steps:
Note: A DBA is only used for branding. We recommend forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets.
Step 1: Start with a Connecticut Trade Name Search
Your Connecticut trade name must be unique and must also meet Connecticut’s business name requirements.
Before you file, you will need to search city records to make sure your exact name isn’t already taken. We will provide contact information for city offices in Step 2. You will also need to consider any state naming rules.
Your Connecticut trade name should NOT include:
- Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp, etc., unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, etc.
- Restricted words (e.g. Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your business.
- Words that imply that the company is organized for anything other than its permitted purpose.
- Certain words related to banks, trusts, and savings.
We recommend checking if your name is available as a web domain (URL). You might not plan on starting a business website today, but you may want to prevent others from acquiring your URL.
Find a Domain Now
Once you reserve a domain name for your DBA, consider setting up a business phone system to help strengthen your customer service and boost credibility. We recommend Phone.com because of its affordable pricing and variety of useful features. Start calling with Phone.com.
Need Help Creating a Brand Name and Logo?
Step 2: Register Your Connecticut DBA
Connecticut trade names are filed with the city where your principal place of business is located.
A DBA does not offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.
Filing a DBA With the City Clerk
DBA regulations are managed by the state of Connecticut, which means the steps for getting a DBA are similar from city to city.
We will provide step-by-step directions to get a Stamford city trade name. If you need to file in a different city, contact the correct city clerk for instructions.
These links will lead you to the trade name websites for some of the more populated cities:
For a complete list of city contact information, visit the Connecticut Town Clerks Association website.
How to File a City of Stamford DBA
Trade names can be filed by mail or in-person with the Certificate of Registration of Trade Name form.
Reminder: Stamford city requires that you check their trade name records before filing to make sure your name isn’t already taken.
Manage Your City of Stamford DBA
Call (203) 977-4054 for general questions about Stamford trade names.
Renew Your Stamford DBA
You do not need to renew your Connecticut trade name.
Change Your Stamford DBA
You can make amendments to your trade name registration by filling out the Certificate of Registration of Trade Name with the updated information and checking the box next to “amend.”
Withdraw Your Stamford DBA
You can cancel your trade name by filling out the Certificate of Registration of Trade Name and checking the box next to “cancel.”
If you want to use a professional service to get a DBA for your business we recommend:
Swyft Filings ($99 + state fee)
After Filing Your Connecticut DBA
If filing a DBA marks the beginning of your business journey, then there are a few more steps that you should take before getting started:
- Create your Business’s Website - Every business needs a website. Luckily, drag-and-drop builders like GoDaddy and Wix make the job quick and easy. Check out our Best Website Builder article to find the tool that’s best for you.
- Get your Business Finances in Order - You’ll need to separate your business finances from your personal ones. This is accomplished by opening a business bank account. If your business has long lead times or other cash flow irregularities, you can also look into a business credit card.
- Protect Your Business - While an LLC will help to protect your personal assets in the case of a lawsuit, your business’s assets also need protection. Having the right business insurance will ensure that you’re covered if the worst happens. Most businesses start with general liability insurance as their base coverage.
DBA Connecticut FAQ
How many DBAs can I have?
You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. Each one comes with additional incremental expenses and paperwork, meaning more is not necessarily better.
Can a DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?
DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.
To learn more about EINs and when you need one for your business, read our What is an EIN guide.
Can a DBA become an LLC?
No. An LLC is a business entity, while a DBA is just a name for a business.
Sole proprietorships are often confused with DBAs, but they are not the same: a sole proprietorship is a business entity, therefore it can choose to become an LLC.
To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.
Can a DBA have Inc. in the name?
A DBA can only have Inc. in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.
How do I set up a DBA for a rental property?
Holding a rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection. The best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. In any case, it is always best to consult an attorney.
When would it be good to get a DBA vs a legal name change?
Getting a DBA is often a better choice than changing your business’s legal name. If you want to rebrand your company or focus on another line of business, filing for a DBA is a simpler process than filing for a legal name change.
Is my DBA protected from being used in other places?
Some state-level laws prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but this varies from state to state. It is possible to trademark a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.