LLC and DBA – How to Move Forward

What is an LLC?

LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. Forming an LLC is the simplest way of structuring your business to protect your personal assets. Limited liability companies are relatively easy to form and maintain with little paperwork.

Basic Steps

  1. Name your LLC
  2. Secure an Employer Identification Number (EIN) – fast and free here.
  3. Register LLC with Your State
  4. File a Certificate of Organization (In Some States)
  5. Create an Operating Agreement
  6. Open a business bank account

What is a DBA?

DBA is simply an acronym for “doing business as.” It is sometimes referred to as a trade name, fictitious business name, or assumed business name. A DBA allows a business to operate under a name that is different from its legal name. For example, if John Smith wants to operate his cleaning business as ABC Cleaning, he will need to file for a DBA.

Basic Steps

  1. Choose a name and ensure availability
  2. Register your name (In Some States)
  3. Complete and file required forms
  4. Publish notice (In Some States)
  5. Secure an Employer Identification Number (EIN) – fast and free here.
  6. Open a business bank account in your DBA name


What is the difference between an LLC and a DBA?

The biggest difference between a DBA and an LLC is liability protection. Under a DBA, there is no distinction between the business owner and the business. The business owner is liable for all expenses incurred on behalf of the business. On the other hand, an LLC provides limited liability protection. The business owners’ personal property remains completely separate from the business. In addition, a DBA does not provide any tax benefits.


* These resources are provided for informational purposes, and are not endorsed by Therapy Source. We encourage you to conduct your own search or seek professional advice regarding the formation of your LLC or DBA.

How to move forward with setting up your LLC or DBA

Each state has slightly different steps and associated costs. In every state, you have the option of completing the steps on your own OR utilizing a 3rd party vendor* to assist with the process.


Select your state in the drop down on this website for information specific to your state, along with options for submitting on your own or with assistance:


Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the “more info” link below your state to see your specific requirements and direction:

If you decide to utilize a 3rd party vendor to assist with registering your DBA, here is an option: