Doing Business As NC: Everything You Need To Know

Doing business as NC is the process of establishing a fictitious or assumed business name, also known as a DBA, in North Carolina.2 min read

Doing business as NC is the process of establishing a fictitious or assumed business name, also known as a DBA, in North Carolina. This step is required for sole proprietors, partnerships, and other business entities operating under an assumed business name. For example, if your name is Bob Smith but you want to work as an exterminator, you can create the DBA name of Bob's Bugs for your sole proprietorship. These rules are governed by NC General Statute § 66-68.

Purpose of a DBA

A doing business as name, or DBA, is often used to avoid market confusion and prevent potential legal action. You must register for a DBA if you will be conducting business under a name other than your own legal name or the registered legal name of your company. As a sole proprietor, you can use your DBA to open a business bank account as well as to:

  • Create contracts.
  • Market your business.
  • Receive payments.
  • Build client confidence.
  • Prevent fraud.
  • Have a legal claim over the name of your business.

North Carolina DBA Laws

In North Carolina, DBA or assumed business names are governed by Chapter 66, Article 14A of the state's legal code as of December 2017. The process for establishing a DBA is as follows:

  • Search the state database to make sure the name you want isn't infringing on other business names or trademarks. This can be done through the North Carolina Secretary of State website and through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) TESS system.
  • Download the North Carolina Assumed Business Name Certificate. It must be signed, completed, and notarized, including information such as the desired assumed name, the purpose of your business, your complete legal name, the business mailing address, and the NC counties where you plan to use the DBA. Your responses can be typed or printed and should be thoroughly checked for accuracy before you have the certificate notarized.
  • File your assumed name certificate with the Register of Deeds office in the county where your business is located. This can be submitted in person or by mail; either way, you must include the filing fee, which is different in each county.
  • Once this is completed, the DBA information for your business will be updated in the NC Secretary of State database.
  • Your DBA name will then be searchable by the public. One name registration is effective across multiple counties. Any amendments and withdrawals to the name will also be updated in this statewide database. As it is centrally located, any adjustments are made in real time and effective in all locations.

If you have questions about filing your DBA request, contact the appropriate county to learn more about the requirements.

If you need help with registering a DBA name in NC, you can post your legal need on Legal Marketplace's marketplace.

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