Should You Have an LLC with a Broad Name and Narrow DBAs in Each Niche?

When starting a business, one of the crucial decisions you need to make is how to structure your company legally. Many entrepreneurs opt for forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) due to its flexibility, liability protection, and ease of formation. However, another consideration arises when your business operates in multiple niches or offers diverse products or services. Should you have an LLC with a broad name and narrow Doing Business As (DBA) names in each niche? Let’s delve into this question and explore the pros and cons.

Firstly, it’s essential to understand the concept of an LLC and a DBA. An LLC is a legal entity that provides personal liability protection for its owners or members, shielding them from the company’s debts and obligations. On the other hand, a DBA is a fictitious name under which a business operates, allowing it to conduct business using a name other than the legal name of the LLC.

Having a broad name for your LLC offers several advantages. It allows you to establish a recognizable brand identity that can encompass various niches. A broad name can give the impression of a well-established and diverse company, which may attract a wider range of customers and business opportunities. It also simplifies administrative tasks such as marketing, advertising, and accounting since you operate under a single entity.

However, when your business ventures into different niches, it may be beneficial to consider using narrow DBAs. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Targeted Marketing: By using niche-specific DBAs, you can tailor your marketing efforts to each specific audience. This allows for more focused messaging, increased relevance, and a higher likelihood of capturing the attention of potential customers within each niche. It gives the perception that your business specializes in that particular area, enhancing credibility and trust.
  2. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Certain industries have specific regulations and licensing requirements. By using DBAs, you can ensure compliance with industry-specific regulations without having to create separate legal entities for each niche. It simplifies the process of obtaining licenses, permits, and certifications, as you can clearly define the scope of each DBA and its associated activities.
  3. Risk Management: Operating under separate DBAs can help mitigate risks associated with different niches. If one niche faces legal issues or financial challenges, the other niches can remain unaffected, as liabilities and obligations are segregated. This separation can protect your overall business and personal assets.
  4. Flexibility and Scalability: Having DBAs allows you to expand into new niches more easily. You can add or remove DBAs as your business evolves, adapting to market trends and customer demands. It provides the flexibility to test new markets without the need for significant restructuring or legal formalities.

Despite these benefits, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Creating and managing multiple DBAs can involve additional administrative tasks, including registering each DBA, maintaining separate financial records, and filing separate tax returns. It may also incur extra costs, such as filing fees and legal fees for trademark registrations.

Additionally, having multiple DBAs may increase the complexity of your business structure, making it more challenging to manage and potentially confusing for customers. It requires diligent management and organization to ensure that each DBA operates efficiently and independently, while still maintaining the overall integrity and reputation of the LLC.


The decision to have an LLC with a broad name and narrow DBAs in each niche depends on various factors, including your business goals, target markets, and industry-specific requirements. While a broad name can provide advantages such as brand recognition and administrative simplicity, using DBAs for each niche can offer benefits like targeted marketing, compliance, risk management, and scalability.

Evaluate your business model, assess the potential advantages and challenges, and consult with legal and financial professionals to determine the best approach for your specific circumstances. With careful consideration and strategic planning, you can structure your LLC and DBAs in a way that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the potential drawbacks, positioning your business for long-term success in multiple niches.

Video Transcript

Should You Have an LLC With a Broad Name and Narrow DBAs for Each Niche?

So the idea here is to have a single LLC with a more broad or generic name and then use a DBA or a Doing Business As for each niche. It is an interesting strategy. And just as a little background, a DBA is essentially a nickname for a business. It is not a separate entity. So if you have an LLC, it might have subsidiary LLCs or child LLCs. Those are separate entities. We are not talking about that. We are talking about a DBA. A DBA is simply a nickname or an alias for an LLC. It is an alternative name. It is like a person named Robert gets called Bob. It is not a different person. It is just a nickname for the same person. I hone in on that because that is a common misconception with DBAs. People tend to think it is another category of business type like an LLC, S corp, or C corporation. It is not. It is just a nickname. So imagine you have an LLC, and then you have a DBA for one line of business and a DBA for another, and a DBA for another. The only reason you use DBAs is for marketing or public relations purposes. There is no legal benefit to using DBAs.

Does It Make Sense to Use DBAs From a Marketing Perspective?

I think that depends on the circumstances. A lot of times, businesses choose not to use a DBA because they want to build one company brand among their customers in their target market. And the general view is that you should have one brand and a consistent use of that brand in a target market. So, for example, if your target market is tennis players, you would not want to have two or three brands for that same group. You want to use one brand so that they get to know you, and they find, “Oh, you, you have great tennis shoes. You also have great tennis rackets and great tennis clothing.” So they get to know that single brand for that target market. It raises the question, though, what if you have two target markets? Should you have two separate brands? From a legal perspective, it simply doesn’t matter. It is all a question of marketing and branding. And that is probably beyond the scope of this show. Although I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, I focus this content on what is legal and what is not. And just keep in mind DBAs have no legal effect. They are simply nicknames for a company. They are used for marketing purposes.


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