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Publishing Fictitious Business Name – Is It Required for your DBA?

A DBA is short for Doing Business As a sole proprietor or also known as a fictitious business name. Publishing fictitious business name is a requirement for a DBA in some states. Prior to filing the fictitious name, it is recommended to find out the requirements for your DBA in the state where your principal business resides.

The primary reason for publishing the fictitious business name in approved newspapers or journals is to inform the public in your county of your business and its intention.

Publishing Requirements

When researching your DBA registration requirements, understand the publishing DBA requirement for your state or local based county clerk’s office. Each state has its own rules and obligations. For example, the state of Florida requires that you must be advertised at least once in a newspaper that is located within the county where your principal place of business is located. However, proof of advertisement is not required. The applicant certifies the name has been advertised when he or she sign the application.

Some states such as California will require the notice to appear once a week for four successive weeks within 30 days after filing. Also, an Affidavit of Publication must be filed with the county clerk’s office. An Affidavit of Publication is a written statement made in the presence of a notary public authorized to attest that the publication has taken place on a designated date. Generally, the affidavit is provided by the newspaper or journal where you have published your legal announcement.

One good news is that you do not need to come up with a new design or a business ad. Many newspapers or journals have a standard format for the legal notices when publishing your DBA. You fill out their forms and pay a publishing fee to run the notice for the required time period. Make sure to obtain proof of publication from the newspaper. This file proof will help satisfy the publication requirement for your DBA registration.

States Require Publication

The states that require publication of legal notice are:

  • California – To file a DBA in the state of California, you will need to file in the local county where your principal business resides and not with the state. The applicant is required to publish a legal notice in the local newspaper within 30 days after filing. The notice must occur once a week for four weeks. He or she will also need to file an affidavit of publication with the county clerk’s office.
  • Florida – The state of Florida requires the applicant to advertise at least once in the newspaper that is located within the county where the principal business is located. Proof of advertisement is not required. The applicant certify the name has been advertised when he or she sign the application.florida-fictitious-name-requirment
  • Georgia – Georgia requires the applicant to run a notice in the newspaper the county sheriff’s office at least once a week for two consecutive weeks.
  • Illinois – Illinois requires to run a publication of the certificate of registration once a week for three consecutive weeks. The first notice must be published within 15 days of the file stamp date in the Clerk’s office. The county clerk must receive proof of publication from the newspaper. The application must file the certificate of publication within 50 days from the filing date.
  • Minnesota – Minnesota requires the publication to run for two consecutive issues in the county where the principal business is located. The affidavit of publication should be obtained by the business.
  • Nebraska – Nebraska requires the publication to run in a local legal newspaper for three consecutive weeks. The publication must contain the following information:
    • Name of company
    • Address of Registered Agent
    • General Purpose of Business
    • Time of commencement and termination (if applicable)
    • List of managers / members conducting the business.
    • Proof of publication will be filed with Nebraska Secretary of State
  • Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania requires to publish legal notice that the applicant has filed an application for registration. The publication should be placed in a newspaper and in a legal journal in the county which the business is located. A proof of publication is not required to be submitted to the Department of State. It should be kept with the business records.

Penalty for not Publishing DBA

Your business may be suspended if you fail to publish your company in a timely manner.

In the state of Florida if a business fails to comply, the business and its members may not maintain any action, suit, or proceeding in any court until the requirement is met. It is a second degree misdemeanor for anyone who fails to comply with the statutes in the state of Florida.

What are approved newspapers or journals?

The Legalclassified-newspaper
notices must be printed in newspaper or journals of general
circulation. This paper contains the following characteristics:

  • has a name or title;
  • conveys
    reading or pictures of passing events, local happenings, editorial
    comment, announcements, commercial, classified, and legal advertising,
    and other notices;
  • issued daily or not less than once a week;
  • intended for general distribution and circulation to the public;
  • is sold at fixed prices per copy per week, per month or per annum;
  • is sold to readers without regard to business, trade, profession, or class;
  • is four or more pages;
  • must have been printed continuously for the past six months;
  • entered under the Postal Rules and Regulations as second class matter in the United States mails

Avoid publishing your legal notices through free newspapers and non-periodical materials. They are the type of publications that do not meet the requirements of a newspaper of general circulation.

How to Publish?

It is pretty simple to post a legal notice for newspaper publication. There are two ways:

  1. Hire a business to file a DBA for you – If you do not have the time, the easiest way is to hire a business such as to do the DBA company setup for you. They will help file your DBA with your local county or state. In addition, they will publish the legal notice of you DBA if required. This way you know it will be done correctly. It is for your peace of mind if you are nervous in filing your first DBA.
  2. Do it yourself (DIY)
    1. Most local newspaper are now available online. Search for “legal notice fictitious name –>your county and state <–
    2. Select the newspaper circulation that fits your need. The price for publishing may start from $25 and up depending on how frequent you are required to publish.
    3. Many Newspapers have its own format for legal notices. Fill out their form. Pay for their service and submit.
    4. Lastly, make sure to have printed proof of your legal notice or an affidavit of application required by some states. Record it with your local county’s clerk office if necessary or file it for your safe keeping.

Publishing a legal notice for a DBA is a simple process. It does not take too much time and effort especially now. Most newspaper organizations are now available online at your finger tips. You can publish your notice within an hour or less. The longest time is mostly spending on searching and/or deciding which newspaper circulation fits your budget.

I hope this article is a stepping stone to support you on your way to create your business. If there are any questions or thoughts regarding this article, please leave me a note below.






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