Operating Agreement/Bylaws/Dba Filing

Operating Agreement, Bylaws, DBA Filing: A Guide for Small Business Owners

When starting a small business, there are several legal documents that need to be created and filed to protect the business and its owners. These documents include the operating agreement, bylaws, and DBA filing. In this guide, we will explain each of these documents and the importance of having them for your small business.

Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the rules and regulations of how a limited liability company (LLC) will operate. This document acts as a roadmap for the company and outlines the responsibilities and duties of each member. The operating agreement should include details such as the company`s management structure, how profits and losses are distributed, and how ownership is transferred.

Having an operating agreement is critical for a small business because it provides clarity and reduces the risk of misunderstandings among members. It also helps protect the personal assets of the members by establishing the LLC as a separate legal entity.


Bylaws are similar to an operating agreement but are used for corporations rather than LLCs. Bylaws detail the structure and governance of a corporation, including the roles of the board of directors and shareholders. Bylaws cover many of the same topics as an operating agreement, such as how decisions are made and how profits are distributed.

Having bylaws is essential for a corporation, as it acts as a legal safeguard that protects shareholders and directors. Bylaws serve as a reference point when disputes arise and can be used to settle disagreements.

DBA Filing

DBA stands for “doing business as” and is the registration of a business`s fictitious name. For example, if your business is named “John Smith Consulting,” but you operate under the name “JS Consulting,” you would need to register “JS Consulting” as a DBA. In some states, DBA filings are referred to as “assumed name,” “fictitious name,” or “trade name” filings.

DBA filings are important because they allow companies to operate under a name that differs from their legal name. This can be useful for companies that want to brand themselves differently or use a name that is more memorable. DBA filings are also necessary for legal and financial purposes such as opening a business bank account, accepting payments, and signing contracts.

In summary, having an operating agreement, bylaws, and DBA filing are critical for any small business. These legal documents establish rules and regulations, protect personal assets, and allow for clear and effective communication among members. These documents may seem daunting, but they are essential for the growth and protection of your business. If you need assistance with creating or filing these documents, consult a lawyer or use an online legal service.

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