We have a sub-s corp and a dba, each with it’s own Fein#. We file one tax return under the sub-s corp name which includes all the activities of the dba. Since we do almost all of our business under the name of the s-corp should we drop the dba fein number or put the dba under the umbrella of the s-corp?

– Carl, Illinois


I’m not sure why the DBA has a separate FEIN.

The purpose of a DBA is to do business under another name, but without creating a separate legal entity.

DBAs are often used by sole proprietors to operate their business with a trade name rather than their own name. You can also file a DBA to use a trade name for your business other than the legal entity name.

For example, say you had an entity called XYZ Enterprises, Inc. (taxed as an s-corp). The name of your entity doesn’t really describe your business, so you file a DBA to use the name XYZ Lawncare.  XYZ Lawncare wouldn’t have a separate FEIN from XYZ Enterprises, Inc. The DBA allows you to publicly use a more identifiable and brandable name for your business than the name of the legal entity.

I would ask whomever set you up with a DBA under the s-corp why you did so, and if there is no longer a compelling reason for it, I’d stop using it.

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