How to Get a Louisiana DBA Name

Although filing for a DBA is similar nationwide, there are specific rules to follow when getting a Louisiana DBA. Read on to learn more.
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Carlos Serrano
Written by Carlos Serrano
Written byCarlos Serrano
Updated January 17, 2024
Edited by Alexis Konovodoff
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With a Louisiana DBA, you get a fictitious business name that you can use instead of, or alongside, your official company name. Here, you’ll learn about the Louisiana DBA application process, as well as any effects having a DBA has on your business structure and tax payments.

DBA in Louisiana: Key Takeaways

  • A DBA is also called a trade name in Louisiana.

  • Your Louisiana DBA lasts for ten years before you have to renew it.

  • You can reserve a trade name for 120 days before officially applying for it in Louisiana.

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What Is a DBA?

When you start a new business as an entrepreneur, one of the first things you’re asked to do is create a legal name for your company. You’ll usually specify this name on your formation documents, and your state may require that name to have certain initials after it, such as “Your Business Name, L.L.C.”

That name may be unwieldy for branding purposes, or it may simply not be the name you want to use for the public-facing side of your company. That’s where a “doing business as” (DBA) name comes in. Think of this name as a pseudonym for your company — a name under which it can legally operate but is not its official name.

A Louisiana DBA is called a trade name, but the concept is the same. It’s also important to note that this name isn’t a business entity or structure. As such, it does not affect the type of business you create; instead, it is simply an alternative name registration that falls under the auspices of your existing business.

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How to File a DBA in Louisiana

With a DBA filing, you register trade name alternatives you’d like to use for your company. Under state law, you must apply for your DBA before you can market or transact under it. 

The following steps cover the relevant DBA paperwork business owners must file to complete DBA registration in Louisiana.

When filing for a “doing business as” name, your first step is to complete a search to confirm that no other company is using the name. You must conduct this search because your assumed name must be unique. 

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It’s also worth noting that successfully applying for a Louisiana DBA doesn’t automatically grant you a trademark on that name.

Step 2 — File Your DBA with the Louisiana Secretary of State

Some states require business owners to file a separate “fictitious business statement” to the relevant county clerk’s office. In Louisiana, however, you will send your DBA filing to the Secretary of State’s office or the Louisiana Commercial Division.

In either case, you must submit the form with a $75 filing fee.

Completing your DBA paperwork online is the simplest way, as you can send your application in minutes without worrying about postal delays. If you prefer to file via mail, you will complete the Application to Register Trade Name, Trade Mark, or Service Mark form.[1] You can then send it to one of the following addresses, along with a check for $75 to cover state fees:

Louisiana Secretary of State

8585 Archives Ave.

Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Louisiana Commercial Division

P.O. Box 94125

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

You can pay an extra fee, either $30 or $50, to expedite the application.

Trade Name Reservation

If you have a good idea of what you want to use as a trade name but aren’t yet 100% committed, you can also file to reserve the name for 120 days.

Complete the Application for Reservation of Trade Name, Trademark, or Service Mark form and submit it to the Commercial Division address provided above, along with a $25 filing fee.[2] Your name is reserved for 120 days from the date of receipt of the application. 

Step 3 — Publish Your DBA Name

Louisiana requires you to publish your DBA name once you’ve received it.

Contact the local newspaper in the parish where your business is located. A full list is available on the Secretary of State’s website. The newspaper should run your statement once per week for three weeks and provide you with an “Affidavit of Publication” document, which you file with the Secretary of State as proof that you’ve published your new trade name.

Step 5 — Follow Up

Under state law, your new trade name lasts only ten years before you renew it. Specifically, you must apply to renew your trade name within six months of its expiry if you hope to keep using it.[3]

All you have to do is complete the same DBA paperwork you completed before — the Application to Register Trade Name, Trademark, or Service Mark form.

Complete that and send it to the Secretary of State within six months of your 10-year expiration date, and you’ll be able to keep your trade name. Also, note that you must pay the $75 filing fee again.

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Louisiana DBA Name Restrictions

As was the case when choosing your company’s official business name, there are some restrictions as to what you can choose as a DBA name. The following is a selection of those restrictions:

  • Can’t make any claims that you do charitable work unless you have a non-profit corporation

  • Can’t contain immoral or “scandalous” language, such as swearing

  • Can’t use the name to disparage any individuals, nations, or groups

  • Must be expressed in English characters and words

  • Must not misrepresent your business structure

Finally, remember that successfully applying for a trade name doesn’t automatically give you a trademark on that name. You must apply for the trademark separately.

DBA Louisiana Tax Considerations

A DBA name doesn’t change your business entity or affect your taxes. Your tax obligations are tied to the specific structure you’ve used for your company rather than its business name or a DBA name.

For instance, an LLC owner can successfully apply for a trade name and not have to worry about the effect that doing so would have on their personal assets. You still get the protection an LLC provides and benefit from the pass-through taxation laws that apply to LLCs.

Similarly, having a DBA name doesn’t affect your federal tax obligations. For instance, you don’t need to apply for a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) for each DBA you have. Your EIN is tied to your business structure, not your business name, so you keep the same EIN for every DBA associated with that structure.[4]

Why Should You Get a DBA?

Now that you know how to get a trade name in Louisiana, you have another question – why do it? There are several reasons.

As a sole proprietor or part-owner of a general partnership, you’ll likely register your business under your own name. Having a trade name makes your business seem more official in the eyes of your clients. Plus, it may help you when applying for a business bank account, as your DBA name makes it easier to separate your business and personal accounts.

On the other hand, suppose you’re starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Louisiana. According to state law, your company name must include the words “limited liability company” or one of the following abbreviations — LLC or LC.[5]

None of that is ideal for branding. So, you may apply for a trade name to get an alternative name that doesn’t require you to state your company’s business structure within the name.

Register Your Louisiana DBA in Minutes
  • 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 is a business entity that affects how you structure your company and your tax obligations, whereas a DBA is simply an alternative name for your company.

How much does getting a DBA cost?

It costs $75 to file for a trade name in Louisiana, though you can pay additional fees of $30 or $50 to expedite the process.

Do I need a DBA for my Louisiana business?

No, the state of Louisiana doesn’t legally compel any business to have a DBA or trade name.

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

There is essentially no difference between the three, as they’re used as synonyms for each other.

How long does a DBA last?

In Louisiana, your DBA lasts for ten years before you have to reapply for it. That reapplication must come within six months of the name’s expiry date.

Is a DBA the same as a trademark?

It isn’t, as a DBA simply allows you to transact under a fictitious name without providing any sort of legal protection for that name. Trademarks are necessary to protect your company’s intellectual property and must be filed separately.

Does a DBA affect my business’s tax status?

Having a DBA does not affect your tax status in Louisiana because it doesn’t impact the type of business entity you have.


  1. Louisiana Secretary of State. “Application to Register Trade Name, Trademark, or Service Mark.” Accessed October 10, 2023.

  2. Louisiana Secretary of State. “Application for Reservation of Trade Name, Trademark, or Service Mark.” Accessed October 10, 2023.

  3. Justia. “2011 Louisiana Laws, Revised Statutes, TITLE 51 — Trade and commerce, RS 51:216 — Duration and renewal.” Accessed October 11, 2023.

  4. Internal Revenue Service. “Do You Need a New EIN?” Accessed October 11, 2023.

  5. Louisiana State Legislature. “RS 12:1306.” Accessed October 11, 2023.

Originally published on January 17, 2024, and last edited on January 17, 2024.
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