If you want to do business under a name other than your own or the one your company registered as, you'll need a "Doing Business As" -- DBA for short. When you file your business taxes you must use your DBA on the business tax form and recognize income received from your DBA.
DBA on your Business Tax Form
Business owners have two components to taxes: personal taxes and business taxes. At the individual level, taxpayers must file a Form 1040 to report income they've earned.
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You should not use your DBA as the taxpayer name on your personal Form 1040. However, you will need to use it when you report your business' income. The form you'll use to do this varies based on the type of business you own.
- If you're a sole proprietor or a single member LLC, write your DBA on line C of Schedule C.
- If you're a partnership or a multiple-member LLC electing to be taxed as a partnership, write your DBA in the "Name of Partnership" line at the top of Form 1065.
- If you're filing a S Corp return, write your DBA in the "Name" line at the top of Form 1120S.
- If you're a C Corporation or an LLC electing to be taxed as a C Corporation, write your DBA in the "Name" line at the top of Form 1120.
If you receive a salary, dividends or income from your business, it will be reported on your Form 1040 with the DBA as the source of income. For example, say that you are a partner in a partnership and the partnership DBA is "Best Partnership." After the partnership files its taxes, you'll receive a Schedule K-1 from "Best Partnership," which you will then attach to your Form 1040.
Other Tax Implications
To use your DBA, you'll have to register the name with your state or county government. Any legal expenses or registration fees you incurred to create and use the DBA are deductible as business expenses.