How to Get a West Virginia DBA Name

Although filing for a DBA is similar nationwide, there are specific rules to follow when getting a West Virginia DBA. Read on to learn more.
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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.

Carlos Serrano
Written by Carlos Serrano
Written byCarlos Serrano
Updated February 27, 2024
Edited by Alexis Konovodoff
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With a West Virginia DBA, you can use a fictitious name for your business alongside or in place of its legal name. Here's everything you need to know about how to file for this fictitious business name.

DBA in West Virginia: Key Takeaways

  • Businesses in West Virginia can file for as many DBAs as they like.

  • You must file an Application for Trade Name (DBA) form with a West Virginia Business Center to obtain a DBA.

  • A West Virginia DBA doesn’t expire once it’s been granted.

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What is a DBA?

DBA stands for "doing business as," which describes any different name you use for your business beyond its legal name. However, you can only use a different West Virginia business name, also known as a trade name, after completing a registration form and paying state fees.

A DBA is not the same thing as a business structure or entity. For instance, somebody with a limited liability partnership (LLP) or limited liability company (LLC) doesn’t have to change how they operate their company when they have a DBA. They simply get an alternative name that they can use.

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How to File a DBA in West Virginia

Now that you know that a DBA gives you more options for branding, you need to know how to file for one. That’s where these steps for DBA registration in West Virginia come in.

Just as you did when you created your business, you must check for name availability before filing for a West Virginia DBA. That's because your "doing business as" name can't be the same as any other name used in the state.

You can run a name search via the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Business Organization Search database. If the search comes up empty, you likely have a unique name you can use as your DBA. 

Free West Virginia Business Name Search

Enter your desired West Virginia company name to see if it is available with our free business name search.

2. File With the Relevant Business Service Center

Once you’ve confirmed that your desired West Virginia DBA is available, you can complete the Application for Trade Name (DBA) form.[1] This form asks for basic details about your company, such as its address and the name of the person applying, as well as contact details and the name you intend to use.

General partnerships and sole proprietors have to complete a different form. For them, West Virginia asks for the Trade Name (DBA) Registration form.[2]

You must also complete a Customer Order Request form, which you submit alongside your application.[3] This form details your order with the Secretary of State and confirms your payment method.

Assuming you want standard processing, meaning you receive your trade name within five-to-10 business days, your filing fee is $25. You can pay this via check or credit card, though you need to complete an ePayment Authorization form for the latter.[4]

If you want your application processed within 24 hours, you’ll pay an extra $25 on top of your standard $25 filing fee for expedited service. Two-hour processing comes with an additional fee of $250, or you can pay $500 for one-hour processing.

Once you’ve completed, signed, and dated your DBA paperwork, you can file by mail, email, fax, or use the state’s online portal.

Filing by Mail

If you choose to file by mail, West Virginia offers three office addresses for your DBA filing:

Charleston Office

One-Stop Business Center

13 Kanawha Blvd. West

Suite 201

Charleston, WV 25302

Martinsburg Office

Eastern Panhandle Business Center

229 E. Martin Street

Martinsburg, WV 25401

Clarksburg Office

North Central WV Business Center

153 West Main Street

Suite G- Third Floor

Clarksburg, WV 26301

Filing via Email

Though West Virginia has a dedicated online service for filing your DBA paperwork, you can still send the information online via email. Which email you use depends on whether you ask for a standard or expedited service:

Standard — [email protected]

Expedited — [email protected]

Filing via Fax

Each of the previously mentioned business service centers has its own fax number to which you can send your DBA paperwork. They are as follows:

Charleston Office — (304) 558-8381

Martinsburg Office — (304) 260-4360

Clarksburg Office — (304) 627-2243

Filing Online

If you wish to handle your trade name registration online, you can do so via West Virginia’s One Stop Business Portal. You must create a user account before submitting the Application for Trade Name (DBA) form.

3. Enjoy Your DBA

There’s no requirement to send your DBA paperwork to a local county clerk’s office, and unlike most states, West Virginia doesn’t require you to renew your trade name. Once you have your DBA, the name is yours forever.

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West Virginia DBA Name Restrictions

As mentioned, your DBA name isn't the same as a business structure, meaning you don't have to worry about changing your LLC to get a trade name. It's also worth pointing out that you don't get automatic name protection in West Virginia when you file for your trade name — you must file for a trademark to get that.

But when it comes to naming conventions, most of the rules you’ll follow are the same as when creating your company. For one, your West Virginia DBA must be unique and distinguishable from any other business name used in the state.

Also, DBA names can’t use an identifier, such as claiming the company is an LLC or nonprofit, unless that identifier matches your business structure.

DBA West Virginia Tax Considerations

Given that a “doing business as” name is nothing more than an alternative business name, you don’t have to worry about it impacting your business entity. If you have an LLC, for instance, applying for a DBA doesn’t change the business structure or the tax implications inherent to that structure.

Similarly, having a trade name doesn’t affect your taxes on a federal level. For instance, businesses that have applied for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) tax ID don’t need to apply again — your current EIN still applies.[5]

Why Should You Get a DBA?

Now that you understand how to apply for your trade name, you’re left asking a simple question: Why get one? There are several reasons:

  • Privacy: Owners of sole proprietorships and members of general partnerships who don’t want their personal name to be the business name can opt for a DBA instead.

  • Banking: Many providers of business bank accounts won’t open accounts for people operating under their own names, making a trade name essential.

  • Branding: You can use your new trade name to rebrand your company or to advertise it without having to include terminology like “LLC” or “Inc.” in the name.

Register Your West Virginia 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, or “limited liability company,” is a business structure. You’ll create this structure when forming your business, which dictates how you form the company and your tax obligations. A DBA is just a fictitious name. It does not affect your company structure.

How much does getting a DBA cost?

It costs $25 for a standard DBA filing in West Virginia, though you can expedite the filing process by paying additional fees of between $25 and $500.

Do I need a DBA for my West Virginia business?

No, your West Virginia business doesn’t need a DBA if you’re happy to continue using your company’s official name.

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

There isn’t a difference as all three terms are used as synonyms, meaning they stand for the same thing.

How long does a DBA last?

In West Virginia, DBAs are indefinite and will only end if you choose to close your business or cancel your trade name.

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

West Virginia places no limit on the number of DBAs your company can have, so you can apply for as many as you like.

Is a DBA the same as a trademark?

No, a DBA isn’t the same as a trademark, meaning your West Virginia trade name isn’t afforded the same legal protections you receive for a trademarked name or term.

Does a DBA affect my business’s tax status?

A DBA does not affect your tax status at either the state or federal levels.


  1. West Virginia Secretary of State. “Application for Trade Name (DBA).” Accessed November 9, 2023.

  2. West Virginia Secretary of State. “Trade Name (DBA) Registration.” Accessed November 9, 2023.

  3. West Virginia Secretary of State. “Customer Order Request.” Accessed November 9, 2023.

  4. West Virginia Secretary of State. “ePayment Authorization.” Accessed November 9, 2023.

  5. Internal Revenue Service. “Do You Need a New EIN?” Accessed November 9, 2023.

Originally published on February 27, 2024, and last edited on February 27, 2024.
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