"Doing business as" registration – is it needed for an online only business?


Selling ad space on a website has no physical place of business except for the office, which might be the owner's home. Also, if registering a DBA would be needed, it would have to be all over the world.

Am I right that there's no need to register in this case even if the commercial name is different than the registered name of the company?

If there is, what if I register a trademark? Do I still need to do it?

Legal Website Business DBA

asked Feb 7 '12 at 02:46
90 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • Setup and merchant account; then you'll see. – Jeff O 12 years ago
  • @JeffKO I don't understand your comment. – Startup1 12 years ago

1 Answer


"doing business" generally means having a physical presence, such as an office or store.

Just because your website has visitors from all over the world does not mean you are "doing business" there.

Where you may need to file a DBA is where you have your home office. Check with your local authorities who should be able to advise you of the requirements in your town or city.

As for having a trademark, that is a completely separate matter having nothing to do with DBA.

answered Feb 7 '12 at 03:06
Jonny Boats
4,848 points
  • +1, It doesn't make any sense in this day and age for your type of business, but you are probably supposed to file a DBA with your local government. I suspect that many people don't bother to do it... – Kekito 12 years ago

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