Last updated: May 17, 2023

An LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a business structure that provides the limited liability features of corporations and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of partnerships. But one common query usually regards the number of DBAs (Doing Business As) an LLC can have.

With an extensive knowledge of corporate law and practical experience working with numerous LLCs, I will explore the guidelines and limitations surrounding using DBAs for LLCs.

This article will focus on the pros and cons of single-LLC membership versus multi-member LLCs, particularly regarding how many DBAs your holding company can have. We’ll also discuss the factors that may influence this decision.

Quick Summary

  • An LLC can have multiple DBAs (Doing Business As) by following the state's rules for registering additional DBAs.
  • Registering multiple DBAs ensures clarity among LLC owners and allows for separate brand identities and targeted business activities.
  • The number of DBAs an LLC can have is not limited, and the choice depends on the specific needs and goals of the LLC.

Can My LLC Have Multiple DBAs?

A woman filing documents for multiple DBAs in LLC

Your LLC can have multiple DBAs. Although the default rule for an LLC is that it has one DBA (its owner if it's a single-member LLC).

If you want to have more than one DBA for your own LLC, you must follow your state's rules for registering additional DBAs.

Other states only require registration of those members who will be engaged in or managing the business.

Registering as many DBAs as possible is always a good idea because this ensures that all LLC owners are on the same page regarding their rights and responsibilities.

Multiple DBAs also allow you to conduct various business activities or create separate brand identities while maintaining the legal structure of your LLC.

They also provide flexibility and help you effectively target different customer segments or markets.

Single Member LLC with One DBA

The biggest advantage of a single-member LLC with one fictitious business name is that it is quick and easy to set up.

There are minimal formalities required to establish an LLC, and no filing or registration fees.

In most states, you only need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State's office.

In addition, a single-member LLC is a "disregarded entity," meaning its tax implications are for a sole proprietor business line [1].

Multi-Member LLC with One DBA

A multi-member LLC provides more flexibility than a single-member LLC. A multi-member LLC can choose to be taxed like a partnership or like a corporation.

However, to avoid taxation as an S corporation, the LLC must have more than two members and meet other requirements.

Multi-Member LLC with Multiple DBAs

Two busy workers organizing files

A multi-member LLC with multiple DBA application filings can be structured in several ways, depending on the business's needs.

It allows each member to operate their legal entity but access multiple financial records, tax returns, etc. This benefit applies to foreign LLC businesses.

In addition, the multi-member LLC with multiple DBA names may be able to choose to be taxed as a partnership or a corporation.

This will you to use multiple DBA names instead of creating separate LLCs.

Benefits of Having Multiple DBAs

There are many advantages to having more DBAs. Some of them are that:

  • You can separate LLC businesses from the parent LLC business entity with different branding.
  • You can limit the personal liability of the members of the LLC since the LLC's assets are separate.
  • You can take advantage of different tax treatments for businesses.

Ultimately, whether or not you should register more DBAs depends on the specific situation and goals of your LLC. Therefore you must consult legal advice from a law firm.

It ensures you're working toward your best interests with two businesses.

Steps To Set Up a DBA For an LLC

Businessman putting a file inside a folder

Setting up a DBA for the new business entities is relatively easy whether you have multiple businesses under one LLC or multiple LLCs. 

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Check Your State or Local Government Requirements
  2. Decide How Many Members Will Be Registered as DBAs
  3. Form Your LLC
  4. Register Your DBA With the State
  5. Check Local Requirements and Legal Documents

However, it can take some time to get all of your documentation in order and prepare the necessary forms for separate legal entities.


How Many DBA Names Can You Have?

There is no limit on the number of DBA names you can have. It applies regardless of its fictitious business name.

However, only business employees need to register multiple names with the local government. In addition, each DBA can have multiple members.

Can You Have More Than One DBA Under Sole Proprietorship?

You can have multiple DBAs under sole proprietorship and separate legal entities. Each DBA is separate and distinct from the other DBA/sole proprietor.

Can You Change Your Registered Business Name?

In some states, you can change your registered business name and keep doing business activities with your old DBA instead of filing multiple DBA.

How Many DBAs Can an LLC Have...

An LLC can have as many DBAs as possible. As a business owner, you should know that a single-member LLC with one DBA is the simplest and most tax-efficient structure for a small business.

However, a multi-member LLC with multiple DBAs may be better if the separate business entities have multiple locations or owners in different states.

As you can see, setting up a DBA for an LLC is not overly complicated after getting the best fictitious business names.



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