Filing a DBA for LLCs or Corporations in Illinois

What is a DBA?

A DBA (“Doing Business As”) allows a business to operate under a different name than the one registered with the state.  Often used for marketing purposes, a DBA will act as a secondary name for the company and saves the owners the hassle of forming a new entity. When launching a new product or service, for example, adopting a specific DBA can help reinforce your branding. They’re also called “fictitious names” or “assumed names.”

Not all businesses need a DBA. If you like your registered name, great! No DBA necessary. However, if you want to operate your business under a second name, you will need to file a DBA with the state. You cannot operate under a name unless it is formally registered.


How do I file a DBA in Illinois?

You can file a DBA online through the Secretary of State’s website. The process is fairly straightforward, though it does ask for some information about your business. You will need:

  • LLC or Corporation File number: This is located at the top of your Articles of Organization (for an LLC) or Articles of Incorporation (for a corporation). After you enter this number, you will be asked to confirm the address and owner’s name of the company.
  • Requested assumed name: This is the name you want to operate your business under. You should check the Secretary of State’s entity search to ensure the name isn’t already taken.

You will then be prompted to pay a fee, and you should receive a filed Application to Adopt Assumed Name from the Secretary of State’s office within a few weeks.


Intrigued by the prospect of a DBA? We can advise and guide you through the process. Contact us today!


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