Filing a Fictitious Business Name or DBA

DBA picture

Here’s a List of all (or most) of the County Clerk offices in the U.S.  If you have any trouble finding the right place to file your Fictitious Business Name, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or send me an email.  I would love to help you all out. =)

Remember that before filing your FBN or DBA (Doing Business As) you have to do a search within your county (or city) to check and see if the name you have chosen is not already taken.  You can usually do so through the County Clerk’s website, or other government offices in charge of filing DBA’s, through a link or they themselves provide the service.

The List by State:

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 RegistrationTrade Name Registration Information
Arkansas Any sole proprietorship or general partnership operating under a name other than the owners must file a Doing Business Under an Assumed Name Certificate.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 Individuals, corporations or partnerships 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.If you incorporate your business with the Secretary of State, registering a corporate name does not control the use of fictitious or trade names, and issuance of a corporate name does not affect the commercial availability of the name.
Guam Rules for the Use of Fictitious Names in Guam Visit: http://www.guamcourts.org/CompilerofLaws/GCA/18gca/18gc026.PDFCertificate of Transacting Business Under a Fictitious Name
Hawaii Application for Registration of Trade Name Visit: http://hawaii.gov/dcca/breg/registration/trade/Trade Name Registration Information
Idaho Assumed Business Name Registration Forms
Illinois When a business name is different from the owner(s) full legal name(s), the Illinois Assumed Name Act requires sole proprietorships and general partnerships to register with their local county clerk’s office. Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships register an assumed name as part of their required business filings 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. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships need only file at the county recorder level.
Iowa Sole proprietorships and general partnerships doing business under assumed name must file a Trade Name Report with the local County Recorder’s office. This rule does not apply to corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships registered with the Iowa Secretary of State.
Kansas The State of Kansas does not require a business to register an assumed business name.
Kentucky Corporations, a non-profits, LLCs and partnerships (general, limited, and limited liability) must file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the Kentucky Secretary of State.Sole proprietorships should file an assumed name certificate with the county clerk’s office where the business is located.
Louisiana Sole proprietorships and general partnerships operating under an assumed name must register with the Parish Clerk of Court office where the business is located.You may download the Application to Register a Trade Name, get it notarized, and submit it to your Parish Clerk of Court office.Corporations, non-profits, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships must submit the application to the Louisiana Secretary of State.
Maine Sole proprietorships and general partnerships doing business under an assumed name are required to file a certificate with the municipal or town clerk where the business is located.Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships 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 – Addresses and phone numbers for help applying for a trade name in Maryland.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 Sole proprietorships and general partnerships using a business name other than the legal names of the owner(s) must file an Assumed Name Certificate with the county clerk under which the person(s) will do business. Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships 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 Visit: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=180
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 Visit: https://www.sos.mo.gov/BusinessEntity/BusinessEntitiesOnline/Fictitious/Default.aspx?XID=9b1c4a2b-4852-4d30-afa5-f4435d07c7ea
Montana Montana Secretary of State:Application for Reservation of Name Visit: http://www.sos.mt.gov/Business/forms/general/Reservation_of_Name.pdfApplication for Registration of Assumed Business Name
Nebraska Nebraska Secretary of StateApplication 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 Visit: http://www.sos.nh.gov/corporate/tradenameforms.html
New Jersey Sole proprietorships and general partnerships doing business under an assumed name should register with the county clerk office where business will be conducted. Contact information for each county can be found on the New Jersey Division of Elections page.For profit and non-profit corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships 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 Sole proprietorships using a name other than the owner’s name should file a Business Certificate with the County Clerk’s Office in the county where the business is located.General partnerships operating a business under an assumed name should file a Business Certificate for Partners with the County Clerk’s Office in the county where the business is located.Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships 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 Visit: http://www.nd.gov/sos/businessserv/registrations/tradename.html
Oklahoma Oklahoma Secretary of State – Trade Name Registration Visit: http://www.sos.state.ok.us/forms/FM0021.PDF
Oregon Oregon Secretary of State – Assumed Name Registration Visit: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/ABNWeb/
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of State:Fictitious Name Registration Requirements Visit: http://www.dos.state.pa.us/corps/cwp/view.asp?a=1093&q=431168Application for Registration of Fictitious Name
Puerto Rico Businesses in Puerto Rico can both register their trademark and a trade name (i.e. fictitious name) through the Department of State’s Registry of Marks and Commercial Names: Registro de marcas y nombres comerciales (Registry of marks and commercial names).
Rhode Island Businesses operating under an assumed name may be required to file an assumed name certificate with the city or town clerk in which the business is located. In addition, all corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships conducting business in Rhode Island must register an Fictitious Business Name Statement with Rhode Island Secretary of State.
South Carolina Businesses operating under an fictitious or assumed name are not are 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 Tennessee does not require registration or filing of DBAs or fictitious names for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships register an assumed name as part of their required business filings with the Tennessee Secretary of State.
Texas All businesses in Texas operating under an assumed name bust file an Assumed Name Certificate with the County Clerk’s Office in the count which the business primarily located.Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships 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.
U.S. Virgin Islands Lieutenant Governor of the Virgin Islands – Certificate for Registration of Trade Name
Utah All Utah businesses operating under an assumed name must file a Business Name Registration / DBA Application. For more information, visit these resources: http://corporations.utah.gov/pdf/dbaform.pdfInformation for CorporationsInformation for Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships
Vermont Register with the Vermont Secretary of State:Trade Name Registration FormTrade 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 limited partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation, 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 Visit: http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/faqtradename.html
West Virginia West Virginia Secretary of State – Trade Name Registration Visit: http://www.wvsos.com/business/filing/tradename.htm
Wisconsin State of Wisconsin – Registration of Firm Name (aka “Doing Business As”) Visit: http://www.wisconsin.gov/state/byb/name.html
Wyoming All businesses may reserve or register a trade name with the Wyoming Department of State:http://soswy.state.wy.us/Forms/Business2/TN/TN-NameReservation.pdfTrade Name Reservation Form

Credit to Entrepreneur.com for this List.

I hope I was able to help you guys out.  If a link is not working, don’t worry.  You can comment below or email me at okidokifp@yahoo.com and I’ll be more than happy to help you out!

Did you choose a name already?!!?  Nice!!!

Did you make it yours? Check!

Now you my crouching crane are ready to move on to the next level of face painting radness:

Getting a Business License!!! (Link Takes you away from me…Please come back for more!)

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