How to Get an Idaho DBA Name

Filing for a DBA in Idaho includes following state-specific rules and fees. Learn about the process for filing along with the benefits of a fictitious name for your business.
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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Catherine Cohen
Written by Catherine Cohen
Written byCatherine Cohen
Updated January 18, 2024
Edited by Zachary Ace Aiuppa
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If you’ve filed your business name with Idaho’s Office of the Secretary of State, you might think the process is done. However, what if you decide your chosen name isn’t the best fit for your business anymore? Luckily, this won’t mean you’ll need to change the name of your business — you can apply for an Idaho DBA instead. Let’s explain what a DBA is and how entrepreneurs and business owners can register one in the state of Idaho.

DBA in Idaho: Key Takeaways

  • Your DBA represents an alternative name for your company.

  • DBAs shouldn’t be confused with trademarks, as the two don’t offer the same rights or legal protection.

  • To get an Idaho DBA, you’ll need to go through several registration steps, starting with a business name search that will tell you if the desired name is available.

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What Is a DBA?

A DBA is also known under various other names. The acronym itself means “doing business as,” but terms like “fictitious name,” “trade name,” or, in Idaho, “assumed business name” are also used. Essentially, it’s an alternative name for a company with a registered legal name.

Getting a DBA name doesn’t change your business structure, nor does it grant additional liability protection or secure your personal assets. Instead, it allows you to do business under a different company title. This can be particularly handy for sole proprietors registering their companies under their full names.

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How to File a DBA in Idaho

To get a Certificate of Assumed Business Name in Idaho, you’ll need to go through three steps:

  • Conducting a business name search

  • Filing your Idaho assumed business name (and paying the associated filing fee)

  • Following up to maintain the status of your new DBA

Let’s break down those steps further.

Like your registered business name, your DBA also needs to be unique. To that end, you’ll need to check whether someone else has already registered the DBA name you want. Luckily, you can do that in two ways: Use our free business name search tool or search the official database at the SOSbiz website.

Likewise, you’ll need to check the registry of trademark names on a state level. This, too, is easy to do through the website of the Idaho Secretary of State. Use the trademark search tool there to see if your future DBA is already registered as someone’s trademark.

Step 2 — File Your DBA With the County Clerk’s Office

As a business owner, you can register an Idaho DBA through the Secretary of State Office, and you can complete the process online. By this point, you should already have all the crucial details in order (your tax ID, business licenses, registered agent name, mailing address, articles of incorporation, etc.), so registering your DBA should be straightforward.

To file online, download the Certificate of Assumed Business Name form from the SoS website. Note that filing comes with a processing fee of $25. You can also mail your application at P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0080, or the SoS office at 450 N. 4th Street, Boise, ID 83702.[1] 

Step 3 — Follow Up

If you wish to maintain your DBA name in Idaho, you won’t need to take any additional steps. According to the FAQ on the Secretary of State’s website, registered DBAs stay effective forever or until canceled.[2] However, you might want to use a different name in the future or stop using your Idaho DBA altogether.

In such cases, you must file a Cancellation or Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Business Name form. You can download the form here and file it online or physically, the same as you would the DBA registration form. This action will include a $20 filing fee.

Idaho DBA Name Restrictions

When filing an Idaho DBA, you must adhere to specific state naming conventions. Your DBA must not be the same as another registered DBA, business name, or trademark. This is why a business name search matters — it only takes any small business to have registered the name you desire for your DBA to become unavailable.

In addition to the aforementioned general rule, your DBA name must follow several other guidelines. Firstly, if you want the DBA to indicate your business structure, it must be the same type as your actual business. In other words, if you have a corporation or limited liability company, your DBA can only contain the appropriate identifiers (corporation or LLC).[3]

Similarly to business names, DBAs can’t contain any form of inappropriate language. Also, the assumed name must not have any mentions of illegal activities. Apart from these apparent restrictions, your Idaho DBA can’t include words that imply you’re a banking, insurance, or educational institution unless that’s actually what your business does. To that end, terms like insurance, bank, savings, university, and assurance are restricted only to certified companies.

DBA Idaho Tax Considerations

When you get a DBA, everything in your business structure stays the same. Your company remains in the same industry and maintains the same responsibilities in terms of business and personal assets. Of course, your obligations towards the IRS are also unchanged. Simply put, a DBA doesn’t change the nature of your business entity.

Registering a DBA comes with no additional tax considerations. The only significant change is that your company can do business under a different name from the one filed in your business registration form.

Why Should You Get a DBA?

You’re not mandated by law to get a DBA in Idaho. However, while this step isn’t necessary, you’ll find that registering a DBA comes with several advantages. Let’s look at the biggest benefits of filing an Idaho DBA.

  • A DBA represents a scalable solution for your brand. Companies grow and change over time. If you’ve started offering one or two services, your business activities could expand to include more core offers. In that case, you can get a DBA to reflect those changes without going through the complications of getting a new legal name.

  • Business owners in sole proprietorships or partnerships might want additional privacy protection regarding their company names. A DBA will be the ideal solution in that regard. With a new DBA, you can hide the company owners’ details from the public.

  • Although the state of Idaho doesn’t require registering a DBA, you could come across some institutions that prefer you to have an assumed business name. For instance, a bank might find your company more trustworthy if you have a DBA, making business bank accounts and loans more accessible.

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  • Gain Privacy: Hide your personal name and details when marketing your business.

  • Improve Branding: Choose a DBA that easily informs your audience about what you have to offer.

  • Expand Services: Operate multiple businesses without creating separate entities for each one.

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What’s the difference between an LLC and a DBA?

An LLC represents a type of business entity, while a DBA is nothing more than an assumed name for your new business. The former dictates how your company operates and regulates its obligations and responsibilities. The latter allows you to do business under a different title.

How much does getting a DBA cost?

Filing a DBA registration in Idaho costs $25 when you do it online. If you choose to send the form by mail, this will come with an additional $20 processing fee.

Do I need a DBA for my Idaho business?

The state of Idaho doesn’t mandate new businesses to get a DBA. However, if you don’t have an assumed name registered, you’ll only be able to operate under your company’s legal name.

What’s the difference between a trade name, assumed name, and a DBA name?

DBA, assumed, trader, or fictitious names all mean the same thing: A registered name different from the company’s legal name that a company can use to do business publicly.

How long does a DBA last?

Idaho DBAs don’t have an expiration date. In other words, once you register a DBA in the state, you won’t need to renew it. It will stay active until cancellation or change, which can only happen upon your request.

Is there a limit to the number of DBA names I can have?

There’s no limit to how many DBAs your business can have. Yet, it’s common for companies to register a single DBA or, in some cases, two assumed names.

Is a DBA the same as a trademark?

A DBA and a trademark aren’t the same. A trademark includes specific protective rights that a DBA doesn’t. In that sense, a trademark is more akin to a copyright. On the other hand, a DBA doesn’t come with any additional rights - it’s merely your company’s public name that differs from your legal name.

Does a DBA affect my business’s tax status?

Your DBA allows your business to operate under a different name, but it does not affect the company’s structure or tax status. When operating under a DBA, you’ll maintain the same tax ID, and your responsibilities towards the IRS will stay the same.


  1. Business.Idaho.Gov. “Assumed Business Name (DBA).“ Accessed September 06, 2023.

  2. Idaho Secretary of State. “Business Entities – Assumed Business Names FAQ.” Accessed September 06, 2023.

  3. Idaho Legislature Official Website. “Idaho Statues, Title 30, Chapter 21, Part 3.” Accessed September 06, 2023.

Originally published on November 14, 2023, and last edited on January 18, 2024.
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