How to File a DBA in New Jersey

Filing a New Jersey DBA (doing business as), known as an alternate name OR trade name, is a simple process done at the county level or with the New Jersey Division of Revenue & Enterprise Services depending on your business structure.

Follow our step-by-step How to File a DBA in New Jersey guide to get started today.

To learn more about why you may need to file a DBA, read our What is a DBA article before you start.

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How to Use This Guide

First, Choose Your New Jersey Business Type:

Sole Proprietorship or Partnership
A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single individual that isn't formally organized.

LLC, Corporation, or LLP
If your business is a New Jersey LLC, Corporation, or LLP, the information on how to get a DBA can be found in this section.

Use a Professional Service

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

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Filing a DBA in New Jersey for Sole Proprietors and General Partnerships

General partnerships and sole proprietors are required to file their New Jersey DBA with the County Clerk in the county that their business is located. Estates and real estate investment companies are also required to file with the county.

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single individual that isn't formally organized. If you run a business and file taxes under your own name, you are a sole proprietor.

A general partnership is a business owned by multiple individuals (partners) that is unincorporated. Each partner is liable for any legal actions taken against the business.

A DBA doesn't offer protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up an LLC (limited liability company), visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.

SKIP AHEAD

To create a DBA for an LLC or Corporation, you can click here to skip ahead.

Step 1. Start With a New Jersey Trade Name Search

New Jersey trade names must be unique and must also meet New Jersey’s business name requirements.

First, visit the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services’ website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

Next, review the New Jersey naming requirements. In New Jersey, trade names should NOT include:

  • Words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.)
  • The following restricted words without approval: bank, banker, banking, blind, cemetery, citius, con-con, dba, e-com, express mail, handicapped, little league, mail, olympiad, olympia, olympian, altius fortius, olympic, olympus, realtor, trust, United States Olympic Committee, urban renewal insurance, zip code, and USPS

Learn more about New Jersey naming guidelines by reading state statutes 42:2C-8 and 14a:2-2 related to business names.

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

Powered by GoDaddy.com

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. Filing a DBA in New Jersey with the County Clerk

Sole proprietors and partnerships are required to file a Trade Name Certificate with the appropriate county clerk’s office(s) in order to operate under a DBA.

Sole proprietors and partnerships must file in any county where your business conducts or transacts business.

We will give you step-by-step directions to get a Middlesex County DBA. For directions in other counties, please contact your county clerk.

You can find your counties' contact information from the Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey website.

How to File a Middlesex County DBA

Before you start the DBA filing process, it is a good idea to search the Middlesex County trade name database.

Once you have selected your name, you will then complete the Trade Name Certificate and submit it to the Middlesex County Clerk. The certificate can be submitted either by mail or in-person.

File Your Middlesex County Trade Name Certificate

File the Trade Name Certificate by Mail or In-Person

Download Form

Cost:
$50 if filing by mail and already notarized
$58 if filing in-person and notarization is needed

Office Address:
Middlesex County Administration Building
4th floor
75 Bayard Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Mailing Address:
Middlesex County Clerk
P.O. Box 1110
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-1110

Manage Your Middlesex County DBA

DBA Questions
Call the Middlesex County Clerk's Office: (732) 745-3827

Withdraw Your DBA
You can cancel your trade name in Middlesex County by filing the Dissolution of a Business Name Certificate form. The filing fee is $25 if the form is already notarized or $31 if you get it notarized at the clerk’s office.

Filing a DBA in New Jersey for LLCs, Corporations, and LLPs

Incorporated businesses file their Registration of Alternate Name with the New Jersey Department of State.

The following business types are considered incorporated:

  • For-profit Corporations, Nonprofit Corporations
  • Professional Corporations, Professional Associations
  • Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Any Foreign Filing Entities

To file a New Jersey DBA for a sole proprietorship or general partnership, go back to the county-level requirements.

Step 1. Do a New Jersey Business Entity Search

New Jersey assumed names must be unique and must also meet New Jersey’s business name requirements.

First, visit the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services' website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

Next, review the New Jersey naming requirements. In New Jersey, assumed names should NOT include:

  • Words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.)
  • The following restricted words without approval: bank, banker, banking, blind, cemetery, citius, con-con, dba, e-com, express mail, handicapped, little league, mail, olympiad, olympia, olympian, altius fortius, olympic, olympus, realtor, trust, United States Olympic Committee, urban renewal insurance, zip code, and USPS

Learn more about New Jersey naming guidelines by reading the state statutes related to LLC and corporation names.

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

Powered by GoDaddy.com

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: Filing Your New Jersey Registration of Alternate Name

You are required to set up your DBA with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services if your business is incorporated.

The Registration of Alternate Name form will ask for your new DBA name and information about your business. You can file a hard copy or submit it online.

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 (LLC), visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.

Submit Your Registration of Alternate Name Form

Option 1: File Online With the New Jersey Business Charter Amendment Service

File Online

- OR -

Option 2: File the Registration of Alternate Name by Mail or In-Person

Download Form


Cost:
$50 Filing Fee

Office Address:
NJ Division of Revenue
Corporate Unit
33 West State Street, 5th Fl.
Trenton, NJ 08608

Mailing Address:
NJ Division of Revenue
Corporate Unit
P.O. Box 308
Trenton, NJ 08646

Manage Your NJ DBA

DBA Questions
Call the New Jersey Department of Treasury’s Division of Revenue: (609) 292-9292

Renew Your DBA with the State
Your New Jersey alternate name needs to be renewed every five years. That can be done online or by filing the Renewal of Registration of Alternate Name form. The renewal fee is $25 for corporations and $50 for other entities.

Withdraw Your DBA
You can cancel your New Jersey alternate name by filing the Certificate of Termination of Corporate Alternate Name form. The filing fee is $75.

Need Help Filing Your DBA in New Jersey?

Have a Professional Service File Your New Jersey 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: ZenBusiness ($95 + state fee)

DBA New Jersey 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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