How to File a DBA in Louisiana

Filing a Louisiana trade name, also known as a Louisiana DBA (doing business as), is an easy process that is achieved by filing the Louisiana Application to Register Trade Name with the Secretary of State.

Follow our step-by-step How to Get a DBA in Louisiana guide to get started today.

Important: A DBA is only used for branding purposes. A DBA isn't a type of business structure and won't protect your personal assets.

Forming an LLC is the best choice for most small businesses. Visit our DBA vs LLC guide to learn what types of businesses need limited liability protection.

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Follow These Steps to File Your Louisiana DBA

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

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Filing a DBA in Louisiana is Easy

Step 1. Start with a Louisiana Trade Name Search

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

First, visit the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

Next, review the Louisiana naming requirements. In Louisiana, your trade name should NOT include:

  • Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp., etc unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, or etc.
  • The words bank, banker, banking, savings, safe deposit, trust, trustee, building and loan, homestead, or credit union without approval from the Louisiana Commissioner of the Office of Financial Institutions.
  • Words that falsely suggest that your company is a charity, nonprofit, or government organization.
  • The words “casualty,” "redevelopment corporation," or "electrical cooperative."
  • The words "engineer," "engineering," "surveyor," "surveying," (or any variations) without approval from the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board.
  • Words that imply that the company is organized for any unlawful purpose. It also cannot contain any words “that consist of or comprise immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter.”

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.

Need Help Choosing a DBA Name?

If you need help coming up with a DBA name, try our business name generator. You can use this tool to generate both business names and domain names.

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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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2. Register Your Louisiana DBA

In Louisiana, you must actually be using your trade name before you can register it. If you haven’t yet started using it, Louisiana allows you to reserve a trade name before registering it. If you would like to reserve a DBA for your company, you can do so online or by filling out and returning the Application for Reservation of Trade Name. There is a $25 fee to reserve a trade name, and it will be reserved for 120 days after the application is processed.

Your Louisiana trade name can be registered online or by mail with the Secretary of State. You can file online with the Louisiana geauxBIZ website or you can complete the Application to Register Trade Name form.

Some important sections of the form include:

  • Section 2: Applicant’s state of incorporation (if applicable)
  • Section 5: Type of business
  • Section 7: Date trade name first used
  • Section 8: Date trade name first used in Louisiana

A DBA does not offer any legal 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.

File a Louisiana Trade Name

Option 1: File Online with the Louisiana geauxBIZ Website

File Online

- OR -

Option 2: File the Application to Register Trade Name by Mail or In-Person

Download Form


Cost:
$75 Filing Fee
$300 24-hour Expediting Fee

Office Address:
Louisiana Secretary of State
8585 Archives Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Mailing Address:
Commercial Division
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Manage Your Louisiana Trade Name

General Questions
Call the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Commercial Division: (225) 925-4704

Renew Your Trade Name With the State
Your Louisiana trade name expires after ten years. You can renew it online or by filling out and returning this form. The filing fee is $75.

You can mail the completed form to the address below:
Commercial Division
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Or, you can deliver it in-person to the Secretary of State’s office:
Louisiana Secretary of State
8585 Archives Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809


Change Your Trade Name
You can get help changing your DBA by calling the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Commercial Division: (225) 925-4704

Withdraw Your Trade Name
You can get help withdrawing your DBA by calling the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Commercial Division: (225) 925-4704

After Filing Your Louisiana 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 Louisiana DBA?

Have a Professional Service File Your Louisiana 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) 

DBA Louisiana 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 versus 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.

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