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.