Everything You Need To Know About Doing Business As (DBA) Applications in Cook County

If your blog is a business (if you make steady money), you need to take a couple of steps to set up your blog as a business. You can turn your blog into a separate legal entity, like an LLC, or you can filed a DBA and continue to be a sole proprietor. Why is this important? If you want to be able to claim a loss on your blog business on your taxes, you should have a separate business account at your bank. In order to get that bank account, you need to have a LLC or DBA filing.

What do you need to know about filing a DBA?

  • It is a way to formally announce that you are doing business under another name.
  • By filing a DBA, and setting up a bank account, you will be able to cash checks made out to the name of your blog. (And trust me, getting checks that are made out to your blog, and not you, before you have a DBA is a nightmare).
  • It isn’t as easy at it might seem.

What are the steps to filing a DBA?

  • Find the application online, fill it out, and print it.
  • Pay a $50 fee online.
  • Have the application notarized.
  • Mail the application to the County Clerk’s Office.
  • The Clerk’s Office will email you a Copy of the Legal Notice announcing your DBA filing.
  • Here is where things get complicated – and this is the thing that no one tells you about. You need to publish an advertisement announcing your legal notice for the assumed business name.

Let’s talk about that ad…

  • The first ad needs to run no later than 15 days after the date on your DBA Legal Notice. So get moving.
  • Your ad needs to run once a week for 3 consecutive weeks.
  • Some newspapers charge a lot of money.
  • Once the ad has run for 3 weeks, you have to send a notarized Certification of Publication with an original clipping of the published legal notice to the Clerk’s Office.
  • If you don’t file the proof of publication your application will be void.
  • The easiest and cheapest way to publish the public notice, that I found, was to publish in the Law Bulletin. It’s easy to fill out everything and pay online. It took me 5 minute and cost $58. Plus, they send the notarized Certification of Publication to the Clerk’s Office.

Total time: The entire process will take about 5-6 weeks

Total cost: $108 or more

Kit Graham is the writer behind The Kittchen, a WCBC founder, and the data privacy expert at Groupon, who is desperately trying to convince her husband that she needs a puppy. 

  • hhappyJax

    Thanks to this info I saved $40 on publishing. I was going to use the Daily Herald before…thanks!!!! Also the cost is now $60.00

  • Aldona

    So glad I came across this also! And it’s still $60 (as the previous poster mentioned). Was so glad to come across this. The whole publishing a legal notice part really kinda threw me for a loop. Sounds like an archaic rule that they just haven’t gotten rid of yet. Ah well, great to be saved money after seeing this! I wish I could see the publication itself, but I’m not paying $200+ for a six month subscription to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, haha.

  • irene

    I just submit my publication and pay 60 dollars online.they give me 3 date when it will be publish after that are they going to send me a copy of notarized certification or they will send it to cook clerk ? if theyre the one who will send it to clerk , is the clerk office will mail me a copy of notarized certificate for assumed name so I can open a bank account for my business? need advice please.tnx

    • Aldona

      Yep, once you do the submission and pay the $60, it’s just a matter of waiting. You’ll get something after the first week’s publication in the mail. Then after the third week, they send the notarized proof of publication to the Cook County Clerk. After they receive it and approve your assumed business name, you’ll get an email saying as such, and it will say the certificate (that you can use to open the bank account) will arrive from the Cook County Clerk in 3-5 business days.

  • Eduardo

    I just paid the $60, but do I have to pay $60 during 3 weeks or It was just one payment for the 3 publications? need some help please.

  • Elizabeth Shefchuk

    I’ve been waiting for weeks for my legal notice from the clerk’s office. Anyone else experience this?

    • Aldona

      What do you mean by legal notice?

    • Karina Santos

      I have not received mine either and it’s been 4 weeks.

  • Kim

    This is so helpful! Thanks for posting this information. The email from the clerk’s office is so cryptic and this process is, quite frankly, antiquated. I called DNA Info to publish there and they just discontinued their printed products! I wonder how long it will take The Cook County Clerk to catch up with online technology 🙂

  • Johnson

    I have a home based business and I filed a DBA. I was just sent a notice that I have to publish my assumed business name with my address. The problem I have with this is my home address being used to be published. So is there any way that I do not have to publish my address with the county in my state. They stated this is for 911 purposes. And is there any other way I can get my business name legal without having to go through this type of red tape?

    • My Life Matters

      The home address and business address are always published together in a legal notice. The legal notice asks for the true legal name and address of the owner(s).

  • Bjorn Folkvar

    Is there a way to run an ad for free or an alternative for those of us in which a $100+ would be a hardship? This requisite seems quite antiquated.