DBA (Assumed Names)

A sole proprietor or a general partnership conducting or transacting business in Alpena County is required by statute, to file their business names in this county, on forms provided by the County Clerk's Office, or on our website called DBA Form (PDF). Assumed Names Certificates protect the name of the business in Alpena County only, therefore an Assumed Name Certificate must be filed in every county where business is conducted.

The fee to file, renew, amend, or dissolve an Assumed Name Certificate (PDF) is $15.The certificate expires after five years. If a business registration is not renewed, the name can be given out to someone else. The Clerk's Office sends out a renewal notice a few weeks prior to the expiration date.

The Certificates of Assumed Name / Co-partnership are not complicated, but they are legal documents. A person must be at least 18 years of age (legal age for an adult) to file a DBA. Information given on the form should be as complete and accurate as possible. Prior to completing the DBA Certificate, confirm that the business name you have selected is acceptable. The Clerk is authorized to reject any assumed name, which is likely to mislead the public or is similar to other business names as to lead to confusion or deception.

Check with the State of MI to ensure that the business name is not being used by a corporation, limited liability company ("LLC"), limited liability partnership ("LLP"), or non-profit organization, which are only filed at the state level, State of Michigan Business Entity Search. It is your responsibility to check at the state level, local telephone books, online and news media to make certain there is no existing business using the name you have chosen. You can also contact the Corporation Bureau in Lansing.

Notarization of the certificate is required. This office will notarize the document if the owner has a current valid driver's license or state-issued ID. If more than one person owns the business, and you wish the Clerk's office to notarize it, everyone listed on the DBA must appear in the Clerk's office with the proper ID.

See the DBA FAQs (PDF) for more information on assumed names.