What is a “Forced DBA Name?”

When an out-of-state (foreign) company's registered name in its home state of formation is not available for use in West Virginia, the business must register a "forced DBA (doing business as) name.”

It must submit, as part of its initial business registration with Secretary of State, a forced DBA name letter of resolution, drafted on company letterhead and approved by the officers of the business, authorizing use of the forced DBA name in West Virginia. View a sample forced DBA name letter of resolution.

The name may not be available for a number of reasons, including:

  • The name is in use by an existing registered business in West Virginia.
  • The home state name does not meet the naming requirements as set forth in West Virginia Code (Example: The home state name does not include one of the required corporate name endings, such as, “Corporation,” or “LLC.”).

For further assistance filing a “forced DBA name” for a foreign entity, contact the Business Division.


If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us:  304.558.8000   toll free 866.767.8683  email:   Business@wvsos.gov