How to Get a DBA in Texas

by Mary Jane Freeman ; Updated September 26, 2017


In Texas, you can file a "doing business as" name for your company with the Secretary of State or county clerk's office. You must pay a filing fee and renew your DBA every 10 years.

Filing Location

File an assumed name certificate with the clerk's office in the county where your business will operate or with the Secretary of State if you plan to operate in several counties. The Secretary of State has its own form, as do individual counties. Several counties, including Travis County, also make these forms available online. Others, such as Dallas County, require you to pick up the form in person from the clerk's office or submit a written request for one to be mailed to you.

Name Similarities

Texas will issue you an assumed name certificate even if your chosen alias is the same or similar to the alias of another business operating in the state. However, just because the state allows you to register an identical or similar DBA doesn't mean you can legally use that name or won't face an infringement lawsuit from the other business. For this reason, you might want to choose a DBA that isn't already in use. You can conduct a name search using the Secretary of State's online database. You can even reserve a chosen name for a fee using the same online tool. Some counties, like Dallas County, also provide a searchable database online.

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Certificate Information

The exact forms you'll need to fill out might differ from one county to the next, but the information required to register your DBA is pretty much the same everywhere. You'll need to provide details such as your chosen alias, your legal name or that of the business registering the alias, and the business type (e.g. corporation). If you file your DBA with the Secretary of State, your form does not have to contain an original signature. Photocopies or faxed filings are accepted. The Secretary of State also doesn't require your signature to be notarized. County filings usually require both original signatures and notarization. There is also a filing fee. The Secretary of State charges $25 per filing, as of 2015. Contact the county clerk where you plan to file for the amount of the county fee.

Validity Period

DBA filings are only valid for a period of 10 years. If you intend to use the same alias after this time, you must file a new certificate before the previous one expires. If you stop using your DBA prior to the 10-year expiration date, file an abandonment certificate with the Secretary of State or county clerk's office where you registered the DBA. The Secretary of State charges a $10 filing fee for this service, as of 2015. For county fees, contact your county clerk's office.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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