How to File a DBA in Texas

Texas DBA (doing business as) is called an assumed name. Texas assumed 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.

Use our How to File a DBA in Texas guide below to register a Texas assumed name yourself.

How to Use This Guide

To get started, choose your business entity type:

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Register a DBA in Texas for a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership

General partnerships and sole proprietors are required to file their Texas 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 DBA is only used for branding. We recommend forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets.

Step 1. Start With a Texas Assumed Name Search

Registering an assumed name in Texas does not prevent others from registering the same name, but it does act as a public record and notice that you are using it. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose a unique name.

First, visit the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

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

  • Words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.)
  • Words that imply that the company is organized for an unlawful purpose.
  • The words “lotto” or “lottery.”
  • Words that imply that the business was created by or for the benefit of war veterans or their families. The following words are expressly prohibited: veteran, legion, foreign, Spanish, disabled, war; and world war.
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your business.

Learn more about Texas naming guidelines on the Secretary of State’s website.

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. Filing a DBA in Texas with the County Clerk

Sole proprietors and partnerships are required to file an Assumed Name Registration 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 Harris County DBA (Houston). For directions in other counties, please contact your county clerk.

You can find your counties' contact information from the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

How to File a Harris County DBA

Before you start the DBA filing process, it is a good idea to search the Harris County assumed name database. Harris County has different forms depending on the number of business owners. The form must be notarized.

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

File Your Harris County Assumed Name

File the Assumed Name Registration by Mail or In-Person

Form 02-07: 1-3 Owners
Form 02-07A: 4-13 Owners
Form 02-07B: for 14 or More Owners

Cost:
$15 Filing Fee for the First Owner
$.50 for Each Additional Owner

Office Address:
Harris County has 10 locations where you can drop off your assumed name registration form.

Mailing Address:
Harris County Clerk
P.O. Box 1525
Houston, TX 77251-1525

Manage Your Harris County DBA

DBA Questions
Call Harris County at (646) 386-5955 for general questions about business certificates, assumed names, and DBA requirements.

Renew Your DBA
Your Harris County assumed name can be registered for a period of between 1 year and 10 years. It must be renewed after its expiration date.

Change Your DBA
To make changes to your assumed name certificate, you must complete the full registration process again.

Withdraw Your DBA
You must file one of the withdrawal forms to cancel your Harris County assumed name:

Register a DBA in Texas for an LLC, Corporation, or LLP

Incorporated businesses file their Assumed Name Certificate with the Texas Secretary 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

Step 1. Do a Texas Business Entity Search

Registering an assumed name in Texas does NOT prevent others from registering the same name, but it does act as a public record and notice that you are using it. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose a unique name.

First, visit the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

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

  • Words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.)
  • Words that imply that the company is organized for an unlawful purpose.
  • The words “lotto” or “lottery.”
  • Words that imply that the corporation was created by or for the benefit of war veterans or their families. The following words are expressly prohibited: veteran, legion, foreign, Spanish, disabled, war; and world war.
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your business.

Learn more about Texas naming guidelines on the Secretary of State’s website.

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

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: Filing Your Texas Assumed Name Certificate

You are required to set up your DBA with the Texas Department of State if your business is incorporated.

The state assumed name certificate form will ask for your new DBA name and information about your business. You must file the form in duplicate.

File Your Texas Assumed Name

File the Assumed Name Certificate by Mail, by Fax, or In-Person

Download Form

Cost:
$25 Filing Fee

Office Address:
James Earl Rudder Office Building
1019 Brazos
Austin, Texas 78701

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, Texas 78711-3697

Fax:
(512) 463-5709

Note: When submitting your Assumed Name Certificate to the Secretary of State office by fax, you must include Form 807 with credit card information.

Manage Your Texas DBA

DBA Questions
Call the Texas Secretary of State to learn more about DBA requirements: (512) 463-5555

Renew Your DBA with the State
Your Assumed Name Certificate (DBA) must be renewed with the Secretary of State's office every 10 years (or sooner if you registered it for fewer than 10 years)

Change Your DBA
To make changes to your Assumed Name Certificate, you must complete the full legal registration process again.

Withdraw Your DBA
Texas refers to withdrawing a DBA as the Abandonment of an Assumed Name. You can submit Form 504 - Abandonment of Assumed Name Certificate to the Secretary of State to complete this process. The fee to file this form is $10.

After Filing Your Texas 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 DBA in Texas?

Have a Professional Service File Your Texas 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 Texas 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.

How much does it cost to get a DBA in Texas?

It costs between $15 and $25 to get a DBA in Texas.

Useful Links for Your Texas DBA