How to File a DBA in Delaware

Delaware DBA (doing business as) is called a trade name. Delaware trade name registration allows a business to operate under a name that’s different from its legal name.

DBA registration won’t protect your personal assets like forming an LLC or corporation will. Learn why in our DBA vs LLC guide.

Or, use a professional DBA service:

four point eight out of five  MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee)

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Register a Delaware Fictitious Name

Registering a Delaware trade name, also known as a DBA, is easy!

Learn How to File a DBA in Delaware yourself in two steps:

  1. Start with a Delaware Trade Name Search
  2. Register Your Delaware DBA

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 Delaware Trade Name Search

Your Delaware trade name must be unique and must also meet Delaware’s business name requirements.

Before you file, you will need to search the state’s records to make sure your exact name isn’t already taken. You will also need to consider any state naming rules.

Your Delaware trade name should NOT include:

  • Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp, etc., unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, etc.
  • The word “bank,” or any variation unless the company is authorized as a bank by the state. However, the word “bank,” or any variation, can be used if the context clearly doesn’t refer to a banking business or mislead the public about the nature of the business.

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

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Need Help Creating a Brand Name and Logo?

If you need help coming up with a DBA name, try our business name generator. Then, create a unique logo for your brand with our free logo generator.

Step 2: Register Your Delaware DBA

Delaware trade names are filed with the county or counties where your company does business.

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 County Clerk

DBA regulations are managed by the state of Delaware which means the steps for getting a DBA are similar from county to county.

Each of the three counties in Delaware use the same trade name registration form.

How to File a Delaware DBA

Delaware trade names must be registered in each county where your company does business. You can do this by submitting the Registration of Trade, Business & Fictitious Name Certificate with the County Clerk’s office by mail or in-person. The certificates must be notarized.

Reminder: Delaware requires that you check their trade name records before filing to make sure your name isn’t already taken.

File a Delaware Trade Name

File the Registration of Trade, Business & Fictitious Name Certificate by Mail or In-Person

Download Form

Cost:
$25 Filing Fee per County

New Castle County
Leonard L. Williams Justice Center
Prothonotary
Superior Court
500 North King Street, Suite 500, LL1
Wilmington, DE 19801-3746

Kent County
Kent County Courthouse
Prothonotary
Superior Court
38 The Green
Dover, DE 19901

Sussex County
Sussex County Courthouse
Prothonotary
Superior Court
1 The Circle, Suite 2
Georgetown, DE 19947

Manage Your Delaware DBA

DBA Questions
Call your county office with questions:
New Castle: (302) 255-0825
Kent: (302) 735-1900
Sussex: (302) 735-1900

Renew Your Delaware DBA
Your Delaware trade name does not need to be renewed.

Change Your Delaware DBA
To make changes to your DBA, fill out the Supplemental Change Form. There is a $25 filing fee.

Withdraw Your Delaware DBA
To cancel your trade name, fill out the Termination Affidavit Form.

After Filing Your Delaware 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.

Need Help Filing Your Delaware DBA?

Have a Professional Service File Your Delaware DBA For You

A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your business.

Recommended: MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) for a personalized DBA service.

DBA Delaware 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.

Useful Links for Your Delaware DBA