According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, "DBA" stands for "doing business as." Whenever a business name differs from the name of the personal owner, personal partner or registered business, most states require the business name to be registered DBA.
Registration of the DBA usually takes place at the county clerk's office where the business is located or through state agencies. Sole proprietors and partnerships routinely use a registered DBA to separate personal names from the business entity. Existing corporations and limited liability corporations typically use a registered DBA to do business under another non-corporate name. A DBA is sometimes referred to as a fictitious name, trade name or assumed name.