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To DBA or Not To DBA – That is the question

Understanding the opportunities a DBA can provide may help you break out of the pack and become your own business. If you have any questions we’re here to help.

What Is a DBA?

DBA stands for “doing business as”, a term used to describe the legal use of a business name other than the owner’s given name.  Authority is legally granted through the  filing and approval of a fictitious business license by the county or state agency where license was applied for.

Did you know that you can file for as many DBAs as you’d like? It’s true. Imagine what this means for lenders who practice “retail branching”.  Providing the ability for branches to retain their developed brand, reputation and recognition, removes a primary obstacle faced by potential branch relationships. This is because no business owner wants to throw away their hard earned reputation. And who could blame them?

A DBA can have advantages or disadvantages depending on your situation. So let’s take a look at them.


One of the greatest opportunities afforded business owners, who acquire a DBA, is the ability to develop relevant, memorable names and icons for their brand, with the end goal of achieving more sales.

  • Affordable
  • Reputation & Recognition Benefits
  • Privacy Protection
  • Marketing and Branding Opportunities
  • Market Versatility and Flexibility
  • Allows for Business Banking


While the list of advantages may be motivating, there are limitations that should be considered before deciding if a DBA is right for you.

  • No legal protection for personal assets from lawsuits
  • No tax benefits
  • Limited use: restrictions for county, city or state where filed
  • DBAs cannot be used in legal documents or to execute contracts
  • No built-in trademark or copyright for a DBA
  • Some states require additional mortgage licensing for DBAs
  • Having multiple DBAs may come with additional regulatory scrutiny

How Do I Acquire a DBA?

Obtaining a DBA, for the most part, is pretty easy. A quick online search for “filing a dba” [city or state] should result in list of relevant resources you can use as a guide. Typically you will also need to run an ad in a local paper. Filing fees range from state to state.

Although the process can be a do-it-yourself, you may find it easier to hire a professional service provider, like The Mortgage Licensing Group, Inc. to help you acquire your DBA. Because, let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to let someone else worry about the paperwork and legal formalities thereby freeing you up to focus on profitable areas of your business.

In Conclusion:

Hopefully you have a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of a DBA and what it can do for your business. Armed with this knowledge you can now confidently decide to tackle your own filings or hand them off to The Mortgage Licensing Group, Inc. to handle for you.