Does a small business need a DBA and a business license?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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Does a small business need a DBA and a business license?

I am starting my own small business and I wanted to know If i need either or both of them, or are they the same thing? How much do those items usually cost?

Asked on August 26, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Business licenses and a fictitious business name also known as a "dba" known as "doing business as" are two diffrent things. Whether or not you need a business license for your company's operations is something you need to call in on to your city, town's or county's business governmental business office for a definitive answer.

A ficitious business name usually costs about $150.00 and is good for five (5) years or so where it must be renewed before that time or the name will lapse.

If you are running a business, make sure you have adequate errors and omissions insurance in place. You might consider running your business under a corporate entity or a limited liability company to protect yourself from personal liability. If you are interested in this format, you should consult with a business attorney.

Good question.

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