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How should I set up my LLC?

I'm launching a new company that will sell products online. I'd like to do this by first forming a main LLC, then forming DBAs for the websites, which will not be named after my main company. Is this a sound strategy for structuring my company? Also, what's the difference between a dba and the trade name that legalzoom is referring to?

It is technically possible to split each venture into its own business entity. However, this can lead to an overabundance of paperwork and legal documents. Furthermore, in many instances, each company may not generate a large amount of revenue on its own, making the paperwork seem particularly tedious.

Here are some steps to take when dealing with different business forms to save time and paper:

Create an LLC or corporation with one main company (i.e. Your Enterprises) in the state where your business will be physically located.

If the main company is up and running, it files various fictitious business names (or DBA, or doing business as) registrations for each of the ventures in the same state/county. This allows each of the smaller companies to represent the branding and presence that is most appropriate for their respective markets while also benefiting from the legal security provided by the main holding company (i.e. Your Enterprises).

While filing your DBAs, it's a good idea to think about whether you'll be doing business under any other names—for example, Sue's Stationery and SuesStationery.com are actually two different names that should be listed separately on the DBA registration form. This additional move is simple and guarantees that you have all of your legal ducks in a row.

When it comes time to file taxes, you will combine the profits from and DBA into a single tax return filed under the main LLC or company. Situations differ, so you should always seek individual advice from an attorney or tax advisor about your specific circumstance.

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