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Missouri DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

Missouri DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

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Missouri DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

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

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

Related: Guide to starting a business in Missouri

Why is a Missouri Fictitious Name necessary?

Under Missouri law, the Missouri Fictitious Name Act1 requires that a fictitious business name for Missouri businesses that want to operate under a name that is different from the legal name of the owners or entity. The DBA registration provides information on the people operating a business, so if there is an issue, the owners of a business can be tracked down.  

In addition to the legal requirement, a DBA offers other benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a business bank account, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.

Who needs to register for a Missouri Fictitious Name?

The requirements and need to register for a Fictitious Name vary, depending on the type of business structure.

The sole proprietorship and general partnership are the most common business structures to register for a Missouri DBA. By default, the name of a sole proprietorship and general partnership is the owner(s) legal name, but if the small business owner wants to operate under a specific name, they will need to complete the Fictitious Name registration. 

For example, if Paul Smith starts a business cleaning pools but doesn’t use a specific business name, he doesn’t have to register. However, if Paul decides to name his business Paul’s Pool Service, he will need to register.

Related: How to start a Missouri sole proprietorship

A corporation and Limited Liability Company won’t typically register for a Missouri 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 Missouri corporation or Limited Liability Company without having to form another entity.

What are the steps to file a DBA in Missouri?

Step 1: Fill out the Fictitious Name Registration Form

The Registration of Fictitious Name form can be filed online or downloaded and mailed in.

Information requested on the form includes:

  • Name to be registered
  • Missouri Charter Number (if a corporation or LLC)
  • Business address
  • Owner’s names and contact information

Step 2: File the Form

Submit the form and filing fee by mail or online to the Secretary of State.

If submitting by mail, send to:
Missouri Secretary of State
Corporations Division
PO Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102

If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Secretary of State at 866-223-6535 or corporations@sos.mo.gov.

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.

Missouri DBA FAQs

How much does it cost to file a DBA in Missouri?

The filing fee to register a Fictitious Name in Missouri is $7.

Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Missouri DBA?

A Fictitious 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.

Additionally, names can’t be registered using words that are related to financial institutions, insurance, or cooperatives, unless the business is licensed to provide those services.

Can someone use my business name after registering a Missouri Fictitious Name?

There is no protection at all when filing a Fictitious Name.

If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a federal trademark through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Learn more about trademarking a business name.

How many DBAs can an LLC have in Missouri?

There are no limitations to the number of DBAs that can be registered in Missouri.

How long are Missouri fictitious names good for?

Fictitious name registrations in Missouri need to be renewed every five years.

The name renewal fee is $7.

Does a DBA need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number (sometimes referred to as a business tax ID number) is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.

Related: How to register for an EIN in Missouri

What is the difference between a Missouri Fictitious Name and a business license?

These are actually two different business registrations. In addition to the Missouri Trade 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 Missouri?

Sources

  1. Missouri Fictitious Name Act (Section 417.200) ↩︎

Missouri DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

Missouri DBA / Fictitious Name Registration In 2 Easy Steps

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