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Minnesota DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 5 Steps

Minnesota DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 5 Steps

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Minnesota DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 5 Steps

If you’re planning to start a business in Minnesota using a specific name, you may need to register for a business name. Business name registration is commonly referred to as a Minnesota DBA, “Doing Business As,” or Fictitious Name, but is officially called an Assumed Name. 

To see if you need to register for a Minnesota Assumed Name and steps on how to register, check out our guide.

Related: Guide to starting a business in Minnesota

Who needs to register for an Assumed Name?

Minnesota Statutes regulate the use of business names in the state and the requirements and need to register for an Assumed Name vary depending on the type of business entity.1

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common business structures to register for a Minnesota DBA. By default, the legal name of a sole proprietor in Minnesota can be the owner’s full first and last name or the full name of each partner, which can be used without registering.  For example, if Pete Smith starts a pest control business but doesn’t use a specific business name, he doesn’t have to register.  If Pete decides to name his small business Pete’s Pest Control, then he will need to register.

A corporation and Limited Liability Company won’t typically register for a Minnesota DBA since a unique entity name is created during the entity formation process. However, some will want to register for a DBA if they have another business or brand name they want to operate in addition to the legal name of the business. This can allow multiple businesses to operate with the liability protection of a Minnesota corporation or Limited Liability Company without having to form another entity.

Steps to Register a Minnesota Assumed Name?

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

Every DBA filing in Minnesota must be unique or can’t closely resemble other registered names.  Before filing, do a Minnesota business name search on the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website to be sure the name you want to use is available.

Step 2: Fill out the Assumed Name Form

The Certificate of Assumed Name Form is available on the Secretary of State’s website at https://www.sos.state.mn.us/business-liens/business-forms-fees/assumed-namedba/.  There is both a PDF form that can be mailed in, or you can file online.

Information requested on the form includes:

  • Legal business entity
  • The Assumed Name being requested
  • Principal place of business (PO Box isn’t acceptable)
  • Name and address of owners/officers

Step 3: Submit the Form

Either submit the form and payment online or mail it to:

Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St Paul, MN 55103

After filing the Certificate of Assumed Name Registration (for which no longer a physical certificate is provided), a legal notice must be published. This notice is published in the legal section of a qualified legal newspaper that has circulation in the county where the principal office is located for two consecutive issues.

Step 5: Obtain the Affidavit of Publication

After the advertisement runs, the newspaper will provide an affidavit of publication, which proves the ad ran along with the notice.  These items must be saved by the business owner as they are not sent to the state.

If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Office of the Secretary of State at 877-551-6767.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Bizee and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

Minnesota DBA FAQs

How much does it cost to get a Minnesota Assumed Name?

The Assumed Name Certificate filing fee in Minnesota is $30 when filing by mail or in person or $50 when filing online.

There is no cost for the Assumed Name annual renewal if it is filed on time.

Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Minnesota DBA?

An Assumed Name can’t use a business entity suffix that is different from the type of entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.

Also, DBAs can’t be registered using words related to financial institutions, such as bank, banker, savings, trust, credit union, and insurance.

Can someone use my business name after registering a Minnesota DBA?

While registering your Assumed Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Minnesota, it does very little from someone else operating a business under that name in other states. 

If stopping anyone from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark 

See how to protect your name through a trademark.

Is an Assumed Name the same as a Sole Proprietorship?

The Assumed Name and Sole Proprietorship are different things. An Assumed Name is a permission from the state of Minnesota to use a name that is different from the name of the owners, while a Sole Proprietorship is a type of business entity.

In many cases, a Sole Proprietorship will obtain an Assumed Name in order to legally operate their business under a name that is different from the owner.

What is the difference between a Minnesota Assumed Name and a business license?

These are actually two different business registrations. In addition to the Minnesota Assumed Name registration, most businesses will also need a business license. The licenses a business will need vary depending on what the business does and local registration requirements.

Related: What business licenses are needed in Minnesota?

Sources

  1. Minnesota Statute Sec. 333.01 ↩︎

Author

  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

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Minnesota DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 5 Steps

Minnesota DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 5 Steps

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