How to Get a DBA Number

A person can start a new business under an official DBA status. DBA, which stands for "doing business as," means a business can go by a fictitious or trade name different from the owner's name or the actual name of the company. You will need a DBA number for filing taxes, which can be either your Social Security number or an Employer Identification Number (or EIN, also known as a tax ID or federal tax ID). Most small business advisers recommend you have an EIN.

Obtain an SS-4 application for Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. Enter the necessary contact information, such as the legal name of the business or the person requesting the EIN, and the business' trade name, if it is different from the legal name. Write in the mailing address and the street address if it is different from the mailing address. Write in the county and state where the business is located and the responsible party's name.

Indicate whether the application applies to a limited liability company (LLC) or the equivalent. If so, you will need to enter how many members belong to the LLC and if the company is located in the United States. Fill in the information of the type of business if it is not an LLC. For corporations, write in the state or foreign country where the business was incorporated.

State the reason for applying for an EIN, along with the date you acquired the business. Estimate the highest number of employees you expect to hire in the next 12 months. Include accounting information, such as the closing month of the accounting year. If the employment tax liability will be $1,000 or less for a full year, you can request to file the annual 944 tax form instead of the quarterly 941 form. Report the date when you paid the first wages or annuities, and the first date when income will be paid to the nonresident alien if you are a withholding agent.

Check the appropriate box concerning the main activity your business engages in, along with the merchandise line sold, specific work for construction, produced products or services rendered. Indicate if this business has ever applied or received an EIN before and provide the EIN number. If you are authorizing for someone else to get the EIN, you will need to complete the Third Party Designee section.

Sign and print your name on the spaces provided. Include the date. Send in your SS-4 form through mail or by fax. You can also complete the form by phone or online. You will have to wait two weeks before the EIN will appear in the IRS record database, so you cannot file an electronic return, make an electronic payment or undergo an IRS taxpayer matching program until after this time period.

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About the Author

Based in southwestern Pennsylvania, Michelle Hickman has written since 2006 on an array of topics including lifestyle, writing instruction and financial services. Her first articles appeared in "The Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Focus Magazine." She holds a certification in computer and information science from Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.