Adding a DBA to your S-corporation basically means you’re adding an alternate name to your company under which to do business. A DBA, or “Doing Business As,” addition allows you to communicate with customers under a fresh identity while maintaining your original corporate registration, identification numbers and vendors. Your accounting and tax obligations also remain the same and this change can be completed with minimal paperwork.

Hold a meeting with the decision makers of the S-corporation. This may include either the shareholders or the board of directors, depending on how the Articles of Incorporation is drafted. The majority must approve the addition of the DBA to proceed. Note the activity and result of the meeting in your corporate minute log.

Check name availability with your secretary of state and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You can use a DBA name that doesn’t conflict with another registered corporate name in your state or a federally registered trade name or trademark. Each state, along with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, offers these searches for free on its website.

Contact the secretary of state where your business is registered. Each state has different laws regarding DBA additions. Some states require the S-corporation to submit amended Articles of Incorporation to adopt a new name, some states require the business to register a trade name and other states require the business to submit a name change form. Your secretary of state or state corporations division office can tell you the steps and paperwork necessary to add your DBA name under state rules.

Set up new bank accounts. Your new accounts should reflect the full name of the S-corporation with the addition of the DBA name. This prevents problems with future payments from your customers.

File your name change with the Internal Revenue Service. When you file your next Form 1120-S income tax return, write the new full name of the business with the DBA name on the return and check the “Name Change” box in Section 1, Line H. Since you aren’t forming a new business, but rather adding a DBA to your existing S-corporation, you won’t need a new EIN number. You’ll still use the same EIN you first received on your tax return.