Connecticut DBA

A Connecticut DBA—or "trade name," as it is known in the state—is formed not in the County Clerk's office, as many DBAs are, but in the Town or City Clerk's office; a Connecticut trade name application would be submitted to the town in which the DBA itself is physically located.

Since a town-level DBA is not an incorporated business, it does not provide the limited liability protection that other types of businesses would, like corporations or LLCs. Therefore, a DBA or trade name is a great structure for businesses not engaged in a highly litigious industry that might leave the owner open to an expensive lawsuit, or smaller business that do not need to take out a great deal of business loans.

DBA or Trade Name Application

While there is no general Connecticut trade name application for use all around the state, each town's application is rather similar. Regardless of whether you're located in Hartford or New Haven, Waterbury or Westport, your trade name application will likely ask for:

  • The name of the person (called the sole proprietor) or the multiple partners conducting business
  • The DBA name under which the business will be conducted
  • The location of the DBA in Connecticut (which should match the town in which you're filing)
  • Each owner's notarized signature
  • Each owner's home address

There may also be zoning issues to be dealt with, depending on the rules of your town; check with your local authorities for details specific to your area.

Rules for Connecticut DBAs

Each Town Clerk will provide its own set of rules and instructions for Connecticut trade name applications, but in general:

  • The DBA name must be available in the town. (Rejections based on name availability can be avoided by doing a name availability search before submitting the application.)
  • In most towns in Connecticut, DBA applications cannot be submitted as photocopies. (Original notary signatures and seals are usually required.)
  • The trade name filing fee can vary; check with your town clerk for your local fees.
  • Only unincorporated businesses, such as sole proprietorships and general partnerships, are registered with the town clerk. For corporations, both domestic and foreign, any DBA in Connecticut should be filed with the Secretary of State's office in Hartford.
  • A trade name application is only necessary when the name of the business does not include the last name of the owner (or one of the owners).
  • There may be certain restricted words, such as "bank" or "trust," that cannot be used in a DBA name.

It is important to check with your local town clerk for DBA requirements specific to your area, as there may be small differences from town to town. makes it easy to register your Connecticut trade name. Just give us some information about your business and let us take care of the paperwork!

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Other types of businesses in Connecticut

If a DBA is not right for you, perhaps because you're uncomfortable with retaining all liability for the business yourself, you might consider one of the following business structures:

If you have any questions, just drop us a line! We're happy to help.