Home » DBA Vs LLC: What is the Difference between a DBA and an LLC?

DBA Vs LLC: What is the Difference between a DBA and an LLC?

In the corporate market, two terms are frequently used- DBA and LLC. DBA is a Sole-Proprietorship commonly known as “Doing Business As.” It is the simplest form of business structure available to entrepreneurs or new business owners. A sole proprietorship is basically the owner of the company doing business as themselves under a secondary name. For instance, John Doe Doing business as John’s Cleaning  Company. In simple terms, rather than using your legal business name, you are doing business under a different name. On the other hand, an LLC, which stands for Limited Liability Company, refers to an actual separate business entity in the eyes of the law. An LLC has its own identification number and can do transactions. In this business structure, the owner of the company is considered the manager or member of the business. In this business structure, the benefit of liability protection from business activities is provided to the owners of an LLC. For instance, in John’s Cleaning Company LLC, where John Doe is the manager or member, the LLC can sign its own agreements, have its own debt, carry liabilities, and conduct general business functions.


However, it is essential to understand the difference between DBA and LLC. Unlike LLC, DBA is not an actual business structure. It is basically an extension of the underlying owner. An LLC can also have a DBA attached to it. For example, ABC Enterprises LLC “doing business as” Affordable trucking.


So, when it comes to DBA vs LLC, it’s better to differentiate between a Sole Proprietorship and an LLC. And the real distinction boils down to two main principles: Company Structure and Business Taxes:


DBA vs LLC: Company Structure Differences:


When an individual establishes a Doing Business As (DBA), it means there’s no separate legal business structure; the owner is simply informing the government of their intention to operate a business. In this scenario, any contractual agreement undertaken by the DBA is effectively an action of the owner, as the DBA and the owner are legally considered the same entity.


Meanwhile, in a Limited Liability Company (LLC), the law recognizes the company as a separate legal entity responsible for its own taxes. This means that the owners of the LLC are not personally liable for the company’s debts, so if the LLC fails to pay a bill, the owners are not obligated to cover this expense personally.


For a better understanding of how LLC works and how it can be circumvented, you can refer to our article: How does Liability Protection Work in an LLC


Furthermore, the Limited Liability Company has the authority to change owners at any time. Therefore, an LLC is a flexible business structure for a business to expand.


Additional Benefits of an LLC:


  • Ability to build business credit.
  • Handling complex ownership structures.
  • Raising capital or attracting investors.
  • Liability protection for its owners.


DBA vs LLC: Taxation Differences


The taxation difference between a DBA and an LLC is that when a DBA is established under an individual, it is limited to filing taxes on that individual’s personal tax return as a pass-through business. In other words, all business transactions will be reported by the company’s owner on their individual tax return. Unless the business activity is passive, the owners of the company are subjected to pay self-employment tax on the income the business generates.


On the other hand, an LLC offers considerable flexibility in taxation. Initially, it operates as a pass-through entity, with taxes filed on the individual’s personal returns. However, the LLC has an option to be taxed as a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation later. This is highly beneficial for businesses earning more than $40,000 annually after expenses.


Take the Expertise of BusinessRocket


The difference between a DBA and an LLC is not a complicated thing to understand. Both DBAs and LLCs serve unique purposes in the business world. DBA offers a quick, straightforward way for individuals to do business under a different name, ideal for small, solo operations. LLCs, on the other hand, provide a more structured approach with benefits like liability protection, flexible tax options, and the ability to build business credit, making them well-suited for businesses with higher revenue. With the help of this guide, you can now simply understand the difference between a DBA and an LLC. And if you are a business owner looking for professional guidance on DBA and LLC, reach out to us. Our team will guide you on How to Register a DBA & How to Register an LLC:


  • Complete a form about your business.
  • Our team will research the formation process and prepare your documents.
  • We file your documents with the government, and
  • Voila! Your documents are ready.


BusinessRocket has the required expertise in business registration and licenses. You can also contact our knowledgeable onboarding team at 888-700-8213 extension 1 for any doubts.


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