Expired DBA? Here’s What to Do.

Posted by Melissa Moreau
March 1, 2021

To a business owner, the phrase expired DBA can sound like a scary thing, but in reality, it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a breakdown of what it is and how you can remedy it. 

DBA 101

Let’s first address the acronym. DBA stands for “doing business as.” If your company does business under another name rather than their registered name, you likely have a DBA filed with either the state or the county where you are registered. (A DBA is also known as a trade name or a fictitious business name.) 

Each state has its own DBA rules. Sometimes it’s a one-time registration. Sometimes you have to have a registered agent for the company itself and the DBA. Sometimes you need to renew a DBA. Which brings us to… 

expired DBA dba expired

What happens if a DBA expires?

An expired DBA is no reason for panic, but action is required. You simply need to renew it. Typically, though, you’ll need to start all over as if you were registering it for the first time. In some states expired DBAs are not protected. Much like with domain names on the internet, that means another business could secure your expired DBA if you didn’t renew it in time. 

Fun fact: Did you know that in some states, including California and Florida, after a DBA is secured, the business has to take out an ad in a newspaper, announcing the DBA?

What if you do nothing about your expired DBA?

No one is going to come looking for you, but you won’t be able to transact business under your expired DBA. (Luckily, Incserv’s Annual Reminder Monitoring Service makes it impossible for you to miss a DBA expiration date. Ask us about it!

Bottom line

Avoid the nuisance of an expired DBA. Let us handle it—and other filing requirements—for you.