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A trade name is a West Virginia DBA (doing business as). West Virginia trade name registration permits a company to operate under a name other than its legal name.

Your personal assets will not be protected if you register a DBA in West Virginia. Forming a formal company structure, such as an LLC or corporation, can provide you with liability protection as well as a business name.

In West Virginia, you may register a DBA.

It is simple to register a West Virginia trade name, commonly known as a DBA.

A DBA is solely used for branding purposes. A DBA does not safeguard your personal assets in the event that your company is sued. As a result, we highly advise that a DBA be utilised exclusively by a formal company structure such as an LLC or corporation to add new brands to an existing firm.

If you operate an informal company (sole proprietorship or partnership), we highly advise you to create an LLC to keep your business and personal assets distinct. The name of the LLC might be chosen to serve as the business’s brand name.

Learn How to File a DBA in West Virginia in Two Easy Steps:

Begin by doing a West Virginia trade name search.

Create a West Virginia DBA.

A DBA is solely used for branding purposes. To keep your company and personal assets distinct, we propose incorporating an LLC.

Step 1: Conduct a West Virginia Trade Name Search.

When you register your West Virginia trade name, you are effectively informing other company owners that the name is already in use. Your company name is not protected against others using it. The next step is to determine if your West Virginia trade name is distinctive and fits the state’s company name standards.

To begin, go to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s website and search for your new DBA name to ensure that it isn’t already in use.

Review the West Virginia naming criteria next. Trade names in West Virginia should NOT include:

Unless the company is genuinely an LLC, corporation, etc., any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp, etc.

If the company activity does not contain “banking” or “insurance,” use the phrases “banking” and/or “insurance.”

Unless the company’s objective is to conduct professional engineering AND one of the proprietors is a licenced West Virginia professional engineer, words like “engineer” or “engineering” should be avoided.

Step 2: Create a West Virginia DBA.

Your West Virginia trade name may be registered with the Secretary of State either online or by mail. You may file online using the WV One Stop Business Portal or by filling out the appropriate trade name registration form.

There are two types of DBA forms, and you must choose the one that is appropriate for your company’s business structure: the form for sole proprietorships and general partnerships, or the form for corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.

Certain information is required on the registration forms, including:

The registration of a trade name(s)

The registrant’s name and address

Principal office address

A DBA does not provide legal protection for your personal assets if your company is sued. Visit our How to Form an LLC page and choose your state for additional information on forming a limited liability corporation.

Maintain Control of Your West Virginia Trade Name

General Concerns

Call the Business Division of the West Virginia Secretary of State at (304) 558-8000.

Renew Your Business Name with the State

Your trade name in West Virginia does not need to be renewed.

Change Your Company Name

To alter your trade name in West Virginia, you must submit a new registration.

Remove Your Trade Name

You may cancel your trade name online or by submitting the appropriate withdrawal form for your kind of business: