How to File a DBA in Minnesota

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

How to File a DBA in Minnesota

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

You may have a business that you want to operate under a different name than the formal company designation. In this case, you can file for a DBA, also known as a "doing business as." In Minnesota, this might be used if you operate a business that doesn't contain your full personal title.

Hand holding up a card with the letters "D.B.A." printed on it

Additionally, you can use this if you own a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or limited partnership (LP) and want to use a designation other than the legal name of your company. Finally, you can use one if you're own and operate a general partnership (GP), and the business doesn't include the full details of each partner.

1. Conduct a search of the name you want to use.

First, before you finalize your DBA, you should perform a search on the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State's website. This allows you to see what is available for use, and what may be too similar to your chosen one.

Additionally, once you decide on one, you may reserve it for up to twelve months. This allows you to hold on to it until you accomplish other company tasks associated with the DBA, such as websites, email addresses, or marketing materials. Reserving it doesn't legally register the name with the State of Minnesota. It merely preserves your choice for twelve months, keeping it available for your future use.

2. Complete the certificate.

After you confirm that it is available for your use, download a Certificate of Assumed Name from the Minnesota Secretary of State's website. When completing the form, be sure to list your exact DBA on it. Further, you'll provide the principal place of business, the name and address of the people or business entity conducting business under the assumed name, and provide a contact person's phone number. Each year, you should complete an annual renewal with the Secretary of State's office. If you fail to submit the yearly filing, you could lose it.

3. File and register your DBA.

Once you complete your certificate, you must file it with the Secretary of State's office. If you submit your document by mail, you'll pay a filing fee. If you prefer the Minnesota Secretary of State's office to expedite your request, submit your certificate in person or online along with the filing fee.

After filing, you must publish the certificate with a qualified newspaper for two consecutive issues. The Secretary of State's site has a list of qualified newspapers from which you can choose. After publication, the paper will send you an affidavit, which you should keep with your business records.

4. Amend or cancel your DBA if need be.

If, after registering, you realize you made a mistake in your assumed name, you may amend it. Additionally, if at any point you decide to stop using your assumed name, you may cancel it with the Secretary of State's office as well.

If you want to choose a second name for your business, consider adopting a DBA, which will operate as the working name of your business. If you want to go this route, be sure to complete the necessary paperwork. Failure to do so could lead to allegations of fraud or other penalties. Finally, keep a record of filings with all other business records.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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