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Filing a DBA in Michigan

Your business idea can make you a key player in the USA and international markets. Therefore, you would need to form a company first. One of the primary requirements of any company is its branding and for that filing a DBA in Michigan is necessary. A DBA is a type of business name that can be used by several kinds of entities. This guide has been created to provide you with insights into what a DBA is, the filing requirements, and how to manage, renew, and cancel a DBA. The guide will also answer your queries related to looking up a DBA in Michigan.

Doing Business As or DBA in Michigan

Michigan is home to several small businesses, startups, and large enterprises that operate under a variety of entity structures including LLCs, sole proprietorships, and partnerships. Whatever the entity structure, you will need to name your to register and become operational. When a new business is set up, it can use the owner’s legal name like Jenny Baker LLC. Alternatively, the company can proceed with filing a DBA in Michigan like Jenny’s Truffles and Cakes. If you are wondering how to look up a DBA in Michigan, then there is a process that you would need to follow, but first, it is important to identify the conditions under which you can use a DBA.

What is DBA in Michigan?

When we say DBA, it refers to ‘doing business as.’ A DBA (Doing Business As) is a registered business name, which is not the legal name of the owner and one can operate their company under such a name. You need to register a business name and similarly, filing a DBA in Michigan is also necessary. It is also known as an assumed name, trade name, and fictitious name. Normally, when an individual starts a business, by default their name is taken as the name of the entity. In such a scenario, if the said individual doesn’t want to use their legal name and instead chooses another name then he/she will have to fill out a Michigan DBA online application.

Example: If Sophie Smith wants to start a software business then by default the business name will be her own name. If Sophie wants to name her business as “Sophie’s Software Systems” then she will need to apply for a Michigan DBA online. When she registers the DBA, her full name will not be legally attached to the business name.

It is important to note that when choosing a DBA name and registering it with the state, you will need to ensure it is compliant with all state laws. The assumed name certificate of Michigan will be governed by the Michigan Compiled Laws – Mich. Comp. Laws § 450.1217 Transacting business under an assumed name. There are several benefits of an assumed name or DBA, which makes it easier to establish a small business including home-based startups. There are several reasons for choosing a DBA or an assumed name and some of the top reasons are:

  • The Business Structure – Sometimes the business structure plays a key role in defining the business name. If you start a small business and the entity structure is a sole proprietorship or partnership then you can use your own name or legal name. If you don’t want to use your own name then filing an assumed name certificate in Michigan becomes important. A DBA name can also be used by other entity structures like corporations and LLCs.
  • Combination of Names – As an individual or business owner, you can use your own name, the name of partners, or a combination of the owner’s name and the product or services being offered. If Susan Shaw and Jane Stewart start a business in wedding planning then the name of the business could be Shaw & Stewart wedding planners or Susan & Jane wedding events. Such a name would not require you to apply for a Michigan DBA online or offline.
  • Flexibility – If you’ve already formed an LLC or a profit corporation and want to operate multiple businesses then all you have to do is use fictitious names or assumed names instead of creating a new entity. This is possible by filing the assumed name certificate in Michigan. This option helps to minimize the cost of forming a new business.

Filing DBA in Michigan for an LLC and Corporation

A DBA (doing business as) is known as an assumed name in Michigan and is governed by the Michigan Compiled Laws. If you are planning to form a limited-liability company or a profit corporation in the state then one of the first things to do is select a business name. You can start your company using the owner’s legal name or opt for an assumed name or fictitious name. There is a specific process for filing a DBA in Michigan which includes searching for the name availability. The process as well as the fee may be different from the business name reservation process.

Do a Michigan DBA Name Search

If you are planning to register an assumed name in Michigan then the first step is to select a proper name and then conduct a DBA name search. As a business owner if you are asking yourself how do I look up a DBA in Michigan then the following ways will guide you:

  • You can conduct a “Search for a business entity” using the online system of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). This is a part of the corporation’s online filing system and will provide the option to search through an extensive database of businesses registered or incorporated in the state.
  • You can also search for trademarks or federally registered names using the trademark database also known as Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).

File a Michigan Assumed Name Certificate

Once you have chosen an assumed name for your business after having conducted a trade name search, the next step is to apply for a Michigan DBA online or offline. The registration of an assumed name is an important process as it will help in notifying the general public regarding the existence of such an entity, and the fact that it is conducting its business under the said DBA. The registration of the Michigan trade name is applicable for both domestic and foreign entities.

To conduct business under a DBA, you will be required to complete and file the assumed name certificate in Michigan. This form is known as the Certificate of Assumed Name for Corporations, Limited Partnerships, and Limited Liability Companies. The form has to be submitted to the Michigan Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau pursuant to Act 23 – Public Acts of 1993 and Act 284 – Public Acts of 1972. The fee for a corporation is $10, and for a limited liability company is $25. You can use the COFS (Corporations Online Filing System) for submission, send it by mail, or submit it in person at:

  • 2407 N Grand River Ave
    Lansing, MI 48906
    Telephone: (517) 241-6470

You can also register your DBA or assumed name with the County where your business is located. Alternatively, we can help you to register a DBA or assumed name for your business in the state of Michigan. It is important to be compliant with the state laws for filing a DBA in Michigan. You need to also ensure compliance with trademark laws. When you file a Michigan DBA online application with us, you will benefit from our knowledge of the process, as well as our expertise. We will provide the necessary guidance, to help you save time, minimize bureaucracy, and ensure the application is not rejected.

Register your Michigan DBA with ease!

Managing a Michigan DBA

Once you apply for a Michigan DBA online or offline, it will facilitate the ability to transact your business within the state using the said assumed name or DBA. Each state has its own laws and regulations concerning trade names or DBAs. These laws are also applicable for the renewal, changing, or canceling of an assumed name or DBA in the jurisdiction or state where you are planning to conduct your business. Let’s look at the various processes applicable to managing Michigan DBA online applications.

How to renew Michigan DBA?

An assumed name or DBA (Doing Business As) name is valid till December 31 of the 5th full calendar year following the date of name registration. So if you filed your assumed name certificate in Michigan on January 16, 2023, then it will expire on December 31, 2027. The form for a renewal is the same as the registration form, i.e., Certificate of Assumed Name. The renewal fee will be the same as the registration fee, which is $10 for corporations and $25 for limited liability companies.

How to change a Michigan DBA?

After filing a DBA in Michigan, changing the assumed name is possible, but the process will require you to contact the county in which the business is located or is operating from. You will have to file a DBA or assumed name change request with the office of the county clerk. Once you have applied for a name change, you will need to update the information on all official documents like the corporation bylaws or LLC operating agreement, business bank accounts, business licenses and permits, and you will also need to notify the IRS of name change.

How to cancel a Michigan DBA?

If you want to cancel or withdraw a Michigan assumed name or DBA at any given point in time, then it is possible through a different process. You will be required to submit the Certificate of Termination of Assumed Name with the Michigan Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, and Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau. There is a non-refundable fee of $10 for corporations and $25 for limited liability companies.

Need Any Assistance in Filing a Michigan DBA?

The process to apply for a Michigan DBA online or offline requires you to provide accurate information while being compliant to state DBA laws and federal trademark laws. The process of conducting an assumed name search can be quite confusing and demanding. IncParadise can gladly assist you with this process. We have expertise and knowledge regarding Michigan Business Regulations and can help you with the Michigan DBA online application.

We can also provide additional services that will ensure your other business requirements are fulfilled like getting a tax id, S corporation status, and dissolutions among others.

Do you want to apply for a Michigan Assumed Name?