Nearly Half of DBA Filings Denied: Top 7 Reasons Applications Get Rejected

Going through the process of legally registering your business’ fictitious name (or “Doing Business As” name) is an important step when starting your company. However, many entrepreneurs have their DBA filing rejected without understanding why. In fact, statistics show that 40% of initial DBA registration attempts are rejected. What causes so many business owners to have their filings denied?


DBA Rejected


Name Already Taken


One of the most common reasons DBA applications are rejected is because the name is already registered to another business in that state or county. Entrepreneurs often don’t conduct thorough enough name searches before settling on their chosen fictitious name. They later find out that name is unavailable, resulting in rejection and wasted time. Always search state and local databases multiple times before submitting registration paperwork.


Formatting Issues


Another reason filings get rejected is because the paperwork contains formatting errors that contradict guidelines. For example, some states require a specific formatting for the business name, such as abbreviations or punctuation. Not following these precise requirements can lead to immediate rejection. Study regulations carefully and ensure everything from capitalization to entity type is entered correctly on forms.


Incomplete Information


Government officials also frequently reject DBA registrations because of incomplete or missing information. For instance, not providing the full legal name and address of all owners is often grounds for rejection. Reviewing forms diligently before sending them in can help avoid these mistakes. Always double check that every necessary field is filled in completely and accurately.


Not Meeting Legal Standards


Certain types of business names will automatically be rejected because they do not meet legal standards. This includes names that are intentionally misleading or suggest a type of business the company does not actually do (like using “bank” when you are not a financial institution). Names that are considered obscene or contain racial slurs will also inevitably be rejected.


Improper Fees


Paying incorrect registration fees is another oversight that can get a DBA filing rejected. Fees vary by state and county, so research requirements carefully. Also, some locations require additional fees if business owners are based out of state. Incorrect payments displays a lack of understanding of policies and causes applications to be denied.


No Newspaper Publication


Most states require publishing your fictitious business name in a local newspaper for a specified length of time after initial registration. Failing to complete the mandated publication period can lead officials to reject your filing. Be sure to submit publication affidavits as proof you have fulfilled this key requirement.


Outdated Business Details


If business owners recently changed locations or ownership structure but forgot to update their DBA registration, a renewal filing can be rejected. Keeping addresses, partners, and other key details current is essential for renewal approval. Update registrations promptly after any major business changes.


Errors and oversights in the DBA application process are common, but also avoidable. Protect your business by researching requirements thoroughly, triple-checking all paperwork, paying attention to detail, and keeping information current. Being meticulous in your registration process will ensure your fictitious business name application is accepted on the first try.

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