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DBA Filing Requirements

Business Name Registration (Doing Business As)

The legal name of a business is the name of the person or entity that owns a business. For limited liability corporations (LLCs) and corporations, the business' legal name is the one that was registered with the state government.

Your business' legal name is required on all government forms and applications, including your application for employer tax IDs, licenses and permits. However, if you want to open a shop or sell your products under a different name, then you may have to file a "fictitious name" registration form with your government agency.

A fictitious name (or assumed name, trade name, or DBA name, short for "doing business as") is a business name that is different than your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation.

For example, let's say Jane Turner is the sole owner of a LLC that operates a shoe store. Jane wants to name her business Sole Shoes Emporium instead using her business' legal name, Jane Turner Shoes 123, LLC. In order to use Sole Shoes Emporium, Jane will likely need to register that name as a fictitious business name with a government agency. Which government agency, depends on where she lives. In some states, fictitious names are registered with the state government; in others, you register fictitious names with the county clerk's office; and in others, there are no laws requiring businesses to register a fictitious business names.

The following chart provides the requirements for fictitious name filing in all 50 states and territories.

State

DBA Filing Requirements

Alabama

Alabama does not require businesses to register a fictitious name. However, businesses may elect to register a trade name with the Secretary of State.

Alaska

Register a Business Name in Alaska

Arizona

The registration of trade names is not required in Arizona but is an accepted business practice, and can help avoid another business from using your business name. Trade names are registered with the Secretary of State:

Application for Trade Name Registration

Trade Name Registration Information

Arkansas

Domestic and foreign corporations must file an Application for Fictitious Name with the Secretary of State. Domestic corporations must also register with the county clerk of the county in which the corporation's registered office is located (unless it is located in Pulaski County). Fees vary depending on entity.

California

Individuals or entities doing business for profit under a name different from the owner(s) full legal name(s) must file a Fictitious Name Statement with the County Recorder-Clerk's Office where the business will be conducted.

Colorado

Register a Trade Name Online

Connecticut

Any person doing business in Connecticut under any name other than their own, must either register a trade name in the town where their business is conducted or register with the Connecticut Secretary of State as a corporation.

Delaware

For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, Fictitious Name Certificates are registered in the Superior Court Prothonotary's office in the county in which you are doing business:

New Castle County Fictitious Name Certificate
Kent County - call for form (302) 739-3184
Sussex County - call for form (302) 856-5742

District of Columbia

LLCs may register a business name (trade name) different from the entity's true name. However, you do not need to register the name used for your corporation, partnership, or LLC as your trade name, since it is considered your true name

Florida

All Florida businesses operating under a fictitious name must register with the Division Corporations, Online Fictitious Name Registration.

Georgia

Individuals or entities doing business under a name different from the owner(s) full legal name(s) must complete a Trade Name Filing with the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the business is principally located.

Hawaii

Application for Registration of Trade Name

Idaho

Assumed Business Name Registration Forms

Illinois

LLCs may register an assumed name with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Indiana

If a business is using a name other than its official name, it must file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the county recorder of each county in which it has a place of business, and with the Secretary of State.

Iowa

LLCs must file a Fictitious Name Resolution with the Iowa Secretary of State

Kansas

The State of Kansas does not require a business to register an assumed business name.

Kentucky

Corporations, non-profits, LLCs and partnerships (general, limited, and limited liability) must file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the Kentucky Secretary of State.

Louisiana

LLCs must submit the Application for Registration of a Trade Name to the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Maine

LLCs must register a Statement of Intention to do Business under an Assumed or Fictitious Name with the Maine Secretary of State.

Maryland

Trade Name Registration Info
Trade Name Application

Massachusetts

Massachusetts requires anyone who is conducting business under an alias (i.e., any name other than their own), including corporations, to file a business certificate ("doing business as") in the city or town in which where the business is principally headquartered

Michigan

LLCs register an assumed name as part of their required business filings with the Michigan Secretary of State

Minnesota

Minnesota Secretary of State - Assumed Name Registration

Mississippi

The State of Mississippi does not require a business to register an assumed business name.

Missouri

Missouri law requires any person or business entity which transacts business in the state under a name other than their own “true name to register that business name with the Secretary of State’s Office as a Fictitious Name Registration. Online Registration of Fictitious Name

Montana

Montana Secretary of State:
Application for Registration of Assumed Business Name

Nebraska

Nebraska Secretary of State - Application for Registration of Trade Name

Nevada

All persons and entities doing business in the state of Nevada under an assumed or fictitious name that is different from the legal name must file a Fictitious Firm Name Certificate with the County Clerk of each county in which the business is being conducted

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Secretary of State - Trade Name Registration Forms

New Jersey

LLCs may legal do business under an alternate name by registering with the New Jersey Division of Revenue.

New Mexico

The State of New Mexico does not require a business to register an assumed business name.

New York

LLCs may register an assumed name as part of their required business filings with the New York Department of State

North Carolina

Certificate of Assumed Name Forms - includes links to online forms that are to be filed at the County Register of Deeds Office in the county in which your business is conducted.

North Dakota

North Dakota Secretary of State - Trade Name Registration

Ohio

Ohio Secretary of State - Trade Name Registration Forms

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Secretary of State - Trade Name Registration

Oregon

Oregon Secretary of State - Assumed Name Registration

Pennsylvania

Application for Registration of Fictitious Name

Rhode Island

LLCs conducting business in Rhode Island must register a Fictitious Business Name Statement with Rhode Island Secretary of State.

South Carolina

Businesses operating under a fictitious or assumed name are not required to register with a government agency.

Only foreign businesses may adopt a fictitious name. A fictitious name can be obtained for a foreign (out of state) business that is authorized to transact business in the state because its legal entity name is already registered in South Carolina. Visit the South Carolina Secretary of State for more information.

South Dakota

South Dakota Secretary of State - Fictitious Business Name Registration

Tennessee

LLCs may register an assumed name with the Tennessee Secretary of State.

Texas

LLCs must file an Assumed Name Certificate with the Texas Secretary of State in addition to a separate Assumed Name Certificate with the county in which the registered business' main office is located.

Utah

All Utah businesses operating under an assumed name must file a Business Name Registration / DBA Application. For more information, visit these resources: Information for Corporations

Vermont

Register with the Vermont Secretary of State:
Trade Name Registration Information

Virginia

If business is conducted in Virginia under a name other than the legal business name, an assumed or fictitious name certificate must be filed in each county or city where business is to be conducted. In addition, if the entity is a LLC, it must obtain a copy of each fictitious name certificate, attested by the Clerk of the Circuit Court where the original was filed, and file it with the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission.

Read the Virginia Business Registration Guide for more information on business registration requirements for all types of legal entities.

Washington

Washington State Dept of Licensing - Trade Name Registration

West Virginia

West Virginia Secretary of State - Trade Name Registration

Wisconsin

State of Wisconsin - Registration of Firm Name

Wyoming

All businesses may reserve or register a trade name with the Wyoming Department of State:

Trade Name Reservation Form

Trade Name Registration Form