How to Register a DBA in Utah (Step-by-Step Guide)

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by Team
Last updated: June 13th, 2024
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If you’re starting a new business in Utah, understanding and staying on top of the various legal requirements and terminology is essential. This can be especially stressful for small business owners who might not have dedicated admin staff. One important decision you will make is naming your business. If you intend on operating under a name that isn’t your legal or company name, you must file for DBA. This article will unpack DBAs. We will explain what a DBA is, its pros and cons, if and when your business needs one, and a step-by-step guide on applying for your DBA in Utah.

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What is a DBA?

The acronym DBA means “doing business as” and refers to a company or individual that operates under a made-up business name. They are also referred to as “fictitious business names,” “assumed names,” and “trade names.”

By opting for a DBA, a company can choose a more appealing trade name than its official title, which can help make its brand more marketable.

For example, a sole proprietor who sells handmade instruments, like Steve Clarke, may register a DBA name like “Handmade Guitars by Steve” instead of his own name.

Registering a new DBA varies by state but generally involves:

  • Selecting a unique business name
  • Verifying its availability
  • Submitting the appropriate paperwork to the government entity, such as the secretary of state or the county clerk’s office
  • Paying a fee.

Utah DBA name registration

Choose your name

First, you must think of a name for your business. It is important to stay across the Utah business naming conventions and policies. The policies outline:

  • Names must be unique and distinguishable from other Utah businesses.
  • The name cannot include any business entity suffixes unless it is that type of business.
  • Certain words are restricted without prior approval:
    • College,” “Institute,” “University,” “Institution”
    • “Olympic,” “Olympiad,” “Citius Altius Fortius”
    • Financial terms such as: “Bank,” “Banker,” “Banking,” “Banc,” and “Banque.”

Check name availability

Once you have chosen your name and ensured it meets the requirements, you must confirm that it is unique.

On the website, complete a business search using your proposed name. If it is already in use, you must choose a new name.

After you have chosen your name and confirmed that it is unique, we recommend buying the web domain of your new name. A business website is a fantastic marketing tool, and if you are still getting ready to launch your website, buying the domain prevents others from using it.

Register your name

Utah provides in-depth instructions on how to apply for your DBA.

You can file online at the State of Utah’s website or complete the business name registration/DBA application.

If you choose to complete the form instead of filing online, it is important to note that you cannot complete it by hand and will need to complete it on a computer before mailing it, faxing it, or delivering it in person.

The form asks for the following information:

  • Business purpose
  • Owner’s name and address
  • Owner’s business entity number (if a registered business)

If you are delivering your application form, the address is:

Heber M. Wells Building
160 E 300 S, 1st Floor
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

If you are mailing your application form, the address is:

Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
PO Box 146705
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6705

If you are faxing your application form, the number is:

(801) 530-6438

Pay your filing fees

The DBA filing fees are $22.

Renew, amend, or withdraw your DBA

  • Your Utah DBA is valid for three years and needs to be renewed. This can be done online. The renewal fee is $27.
  • You can change your DBA online or by completing the registration information change form. The filing fee is $15. If filing by mail, send it to the address below:

Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
PO Box 146705
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6705

Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
PO Box 146705
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6705

Obtain an EIN

The IRS offers business entities an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes.

If a sole proprietor does not have employees and intends to utilize their Social Security number as a tax ID, they are allowed to do so.

However, if a business employs staff or has a separate business bank account, they require an EIN. One can obtain an EIN online or by mail application.

Open a business bank account

After you have obtained your EIN, you can create a business bank account in your newly registered name.

Maintaining a distinct account allows you to differentiate your business finances from your personal assets, making handling check and credit card payments easier.

Useful links

Advantages and disadvantages of a DBA

There are many advantages to registering a DBA: 

  • Adaptability: An assumed name can be altered more quickly than a legal business name. This allows business owners to be more adaptable to changes in the industry. With multiple DBA names, businesses can access more markets, attract customers, and increase brand recognition.
  • Clear financial separation: Filing for a DBA allows business owners to establish a business bank account under the company name instead of a personal account. This separation allows for more transparent financial records, prevents confusion, and protects personal assets.
  • Enhanced marketing opportunities: A well-crafted name can be more memorable, distinctive, and eye-catching than a legal business name. A unique name can make a strong customer impression, encourage brand recognition, and increase sales.
  • Cost-effective solution: Compared to more complicated business structures, like LLCs, name registrations are generally less costly and complex, making them a viable solution for small businesses or entrepreneurs.

While DBAs offer a range of advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider, including:

  • Limited legal protection: Unlike LLCs and corporations, DBAs do not provide the same personal liability protection. Business owners will be personally liable for all debts, obligations, and legal issues.
  • Increased administrative burden: To use a DBA name, businesses must follow legal procedures and regulations, which can be time-consuming and add to the administrative load.

Who needs a DBA?

  • Sole proprietorships: Individuals who own and operate their business without creating a separate legal entity.
  • General partnerships: Joint ventures between two or more individuals who want to operate under a different name than the partners’ names.
  • Corporations and LLCs: Business entities that want to use a name different from their legal name or diversify business under multiple names. LLCs can also file a DBA to conduct business under a different name or brand.

Why or why wouldn’t you need a DBA?

You would need a DBA if:

  • You intend on doing business under a different name than your personal or your company’s name.
  • You want to use a more memorable, descriptive, or marketable name for your products or services.
  • Your business plans to conduct business under multiple names.
  • You want to test new products or markets without altering your legal name.

A DBA may not be necessary if:

  • You operate your business under your personal or your company’s legal name.
  • You are a single-owner LLC that does not need to do business under a name different from your personal name or the name of your LLC.


Do I need to advertise my DBA in a local newspaper?

Utah does not require you to advertise your DBA. However, there are many benefits to advertising your new business to your city or local community.

Do I need to apply for any extra licenses?

Recognizing that a DBA does not give you a business license is important. If you need a business license, you have to apply for this separately. You must apply for these separately if your business operates in a field requiring extra licenses.

How long does it take to process my DBA? 

It takes 1-2 business days to process your DBA registration. Utah offers an expedited service for $97.

Can I renew my DBA with a form?

Currently, DBA renewals are handled online, and there is no form for such renewals.

Where can I order copies or purchase a certificate of existence for my DBA?

If you need copies of your DBA, go to this website and follow the prompts in the “Online Services” menu.

Find out how to register a DBA in your state

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