Starting Your Business
There are many decisions and paths to take to start a business. There is no “one size fits all”. Every business idea is unique and may require a different approach and considerations regarding the organizational type, funding, research prior to opening, business plan, marketing, and operational structure to name a few. The SBDC has knowledgeable and qualified staff to help you walk through the process so you can begin your business legally and with the assurance you have accurate information. We provide confidential consulting at NO CHARGE to answer your questions and give you the ability to make informed decisions.
Ready to start your business? Great!! The Abilene SBDC is the place to start.
- Attend a Start a Business seminar given monthly at the SBDC. See Training Events for upcoming dates.
- Call for a confidential/NO FEE one to one consulting session. (325-670-3000)
What is a DBA?
DBA is short for Doing Business As. It is an Assumed Name Certificate which allows entrepreneurs to operate under a business name. In Texas, if you have an LLC or corporation, you will also need to file a DBA if you operate your business under a name different than the legal name as filed with the state of Texas. You should not be conducting business under your assumed business name until you have filed the DBA or formed a legal business entity.
If you have a DBA or not you may still make an appointment. If you prefer to obtain the DBA prior to coming to the SBDC the following instructions will be helpful.
Who Needs to File a DBA?
If your business operates as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, you should file an “Assumed Name Certificate”, also known as a DBA (stands for “doing business as”), for each name the business uses in commerce. The form is filed with the county clerk in each county where a business premise is maintained. If no business premise is maintained, it should be filed in each county where business will be conducted.
If your business operates as a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company and operates under a name other than the name on file with the Secretary of State, an Assumed Name Certificate must be filed with the Secretary of State and each county in which the business will have a registered or principal office.
Please Note – Neither the filing of an Assumed Name Certificate nor the reservation or registration of a company name imparts any real protection to the party filing the certificate. It is merely a formal process that informs the general public of the registered agent for a business and where official contact with the business can be made. In case of a name dispute, it can be used as legal evidence in litigation.
Basic Steps for Filing a DBA:
- Determine what form of business you have.
- Fill out the appropriate form(s).
- Have the signature(s) notarized.
- Submit the form with payment to the appropriate authority, by mail or in person.
Abilene County Clerk’s Office
300 Oak Street
Abilene, Texas 79602
For other counties in Texas, give us a call at 325-670-0300.
While not required, it is in your best interest to conduct a search to see if anyone else is already using the name you want to use.
State Search – For state-filed businesses such as Corporations, LLCs, etc.
Contact the Secretary of State to determine if a name you want to register is available.
Note: Online search requires payment of a fee by credit card.
(512) 475-2755 or e-mail SOSDirect@sos.state.tx.us
County Search – For business names filed at the county level.
This site contains records for 24 counties, including counties listed on Abilene SBDC brochure.. For counties not listed on this site, searches must be completed in-person at the County Clerk’s office. Staff members in the clerks’ offices are prohibited from conducting searches for you.
- Click on the link above for County Government Records.com.
- Select “Enter” and register for a free account at the bottom of the page (or log in with an existing account).
- Select the county you want to search, you will be on the “Document Search” page.
- Deselect the “Search All Documents” checkbox and then select “Assumed Name” from the list below (there are also options for Abandonment and Withdrawal).
- Enter the business name in the “Both Names” field, select “Exact Match” and click search. If there is more than one page of results, be sure to look through them all.