When you make a decision to start a business, sometimes one of the first things you might do is go to the bank to open a new business account.
Many times, the bank’s new accounts assistant will request you secure a DBA before opening the checking account.
The DBA as it is called is an acronym for “Doing Business As.”
This name is also referred to as a trade name or an assumed name. If you choose a name for your business as anything other than your own personal name, then you need to register it.
According to the Small Business Administration business website, “ consider the scenario: John Smith sets up a painting business. Rather than operate a business under his own name, John instead chooses to name his business, “John Smith Painting.” This name is considered an assumed name and John will need to register it with the appropriate local government agency.”
The appropriate local government agency in Tom Green and each of its surrounding counties is the County Clerk’s Office. The fee for registering an assumed name varies from county to county, but in Tom Green County the fee is $25.
Having your business name registered with your County Clerk’s office will provide two important things. First, it will let people know this particular business name is registered and belongs to you. It will also guide anyone else from registering this exact name as their DBA in the same county.
Jessica Reyes, supervisor for assumed names for Tom Green County, said “When a person has decided on a name for their business, they will need to file an assumed name certificate. This certificate is available directly from our offices in the Tom Green County Annex Building and from the County’s website — co.tom-green.tx.us. When on the website, click the banner button at the top ‘Elected Officials,’ select ‘County Clerk’ and then ‘Assumed Names.’ By selecting the USEFUL FORMS, you will be directed to another page. This page lists assumed name forms for unincorporated businesses and incorporated businesses. You will need to have the form notarized before filing it with the County Clerk’s office.”
It is usually at this point the prospective business owner asks about the legal entity they need to be operating under. Reyes provides them with this guidance by saying, “We are not an attorney and therefore can’t tell you which legal structure to choose.”
She then provides them with information and suggests they contact the Angelo State University Small Business Development Center at 69 N. Chadbourne St. Located in the Business Resource Center, the SBDC can help the prospective business owner learn about the different legal entities before seeking the advice of an attorney.
This collaborative effort between the Tom Green County Clerk’s office and the SBDC provides the best possible support for the prospective entrepreneur.
If you find yourself needing more information to open a small business, the County Clerk’s office and the SBDC can give you guidance. Contact the County Clerk’s Office at 325-659-6553 or the SBDC at 325-942-2098.
“Business Tips” was written by Peggy Rosser, Rural Business Development Specialist and Certified Business Adviser IV of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at Peggy.Rosser@angelo.edu.