If you are the owner of a small business, then you probably will have heard the term ‘DBA’ thrown about. This term means ‘Doing Business As’ and it is another way of referring to the company name of a small business or company. The DBA will be the name which your company operates under, and it will be the name by which your business is known.
It is your company’s trade name, and once you register for a DBA, you will be able to conduct business under the company name, rather than having to use your own name. It allows you to use a name other than your own, or your company’s legal name to conduct business, and make financial decisions.
When you first start using a DBA, you might get confused by what you can and cannot do with it. You might also be confused by some other practices surrounding the use of this name, such as bank accounts, etc. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at whether, or not, a DBA needs a separate bank account, and lots more. So to find out, keep on reading.
What Is A DBA?
First things first, let’s take a look at what a DBA is. As we have just said, ‘DBA’ stands for ‘Doing Business As’, and it is another way of referring to the company name of your business.
The only difference between your company’s DBA, and their official name, is that the DBA does not have to be the legally registered name of the company. Whereas the official name of your company does.
A lot of small business owners register for a DBA because it allows them to make business decisions without having to use their own name. This includes making financial decisions, so it does give you a lot more freedom when it comes to making choices.
Even though the DBA does not have to be the same as your official business name, it does need to be registered in order for you to use it to conduct business decisions. Once registered, you will be able to use your DBA to open business bank accounts, and so on.
Does A DBA Need A Separate Bank Account?
When you first set up your business, you probably took out a business bank account. This likely would have been registered with the official name of your company. So, if you have later decided to register your business for an DBA, then you might not really know what to do with it.
When you register a DBA for your company, it technically becomes another legal name for your company. This might lead you to wonder whether you should take out a new bank account for this new DBA.
Technically speaking, you do not need to take out another bank account for your DBA. This is because it is possible to have multiple DBAs registered to the same bank account. But, we wouldn’t recommend doing this. Instead, it is best to take out a separate bank account for the new DBA.
You might expect this to make things more difficult, but it actually makes things easier. With separate bank accounts, you will easily be able to track the income that comes from different business names.
If you have multiple DBAs registered to the same bank account then it is possible to get the finances confused, and this can be detrimental to your business.
Things To Consider Before Deciding
As you can see, we would advise against using the same bank account for multiple DBAs. But, technically speaking, as long as your business is not an LLC or corporation, and your business is not a separate legal entity, then it is fine to use the same bank account for multiple DBAs.
If you do decide to use one bank account for multiple DBAs, then there are a couple of things which you should bear in mind.
We would recommend doing the following:
- Keep detailed records of the financial decisions for each DBA.
- Create a sales ledger to track the income of each DBA carefully.
- Place instructions and terms on every payment quote for each DBA.
The worry with using one bank account for multiple DBAs is that your finances could get confused, and this could leave you open to issues if your business were to be sued or audited.
Keeping track of your finances becomes a lot trickier if you use just one bank account, and this leaves you vulnerable to making errors in your finances, which could result in disastrous consequences for your business. If you follow our recommendations above, then your finances will be kept organized. Even if you use one bank account for multiple DBAs.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Multiple Bank Accounts?
Like we have said, it is best to open multiple bank accounts if your business operates under multiple DBAs. But, at first, this can seem like quite a lot of work, and it could put you off doing this. So, let’s take a look at some advantages of opening separate bank accounts for any additional DBAs that you might register.
- It makes things easier - your accounting process suddenly becomes a lot easier because everything is kept separate from each other. Money will enter the accounts separately, and this makes it easier to make financial decisions.
- Easier to manage success - with your income entering the different accounts separately, this makes it easier for you to see how your company is performing.
- Less liability - if you end up being sued or audited, you will easily be able to gather the requested documentation, and things will be a lot clearer than if you have multiple DBAs on the one account.
So as you can see, there are some clear benefits of registering DBAs with separate bank accounts. While this isn’t always legally necessary, it is something that we would recommend doing. Especially if you want to make it easier for you to manage the finances for your business.