How to Get a DBA Name For an LLC in Michigan – An Easy Guide


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Get a DBA Name in Michigan

Are you looking to establish a business in Michigan and need to get a DBA (Doing Business As) name for your venture? You’re in the right place! A DBA, also known as a Trade Name, Fictitious Name, or Assumed Name, allows you to conduct business under a name that’s different from your legal business name. This can be advantageous for branding, marketing, and overall business operations.

In Michigan, if you’re willing to use a different name other than the legal name for your business, you must file the DBA (Doing Business As). The public (specifically your potential customers) knows your business by its registered legal name. Instead of using your formal business name, you may use the trade name or DBA in marketing and sales to reach a wider audience.

Michigan, popularly known as The Great Lakes State, has some regulations when it comes to filing your DBA name. However, the regulations can vary depending on the type of business structure you have. In this article, I will share the basic steps to get a DBA Name in Michigan.

What is DBA Name in Michigan?

Whenever you form an LLC or any business structure, you must get a name for it. Every company has a legitimate name. For instance, a partnership or sole proprietorship might function under the legal name of the company’s owner or owners. The name specified in the Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization may be used by any business entity, including corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and others.

However, there are situations when you may decide against using your company’s registered legal name in Michigan. This is due to a variety of factors. For instance, the legal name of your company can be unrelated to it or no longer accurately describe it. Or perhaps you want a new name without altering your documentation for incorporation or registration.

If you intend to run your business in Michigan under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must submit a DBA name with Michigan state regardless of the type of business entity you have incorporated as (single proprietor, partnership, corporation, or LLC).

No restrictions exist on how many DBA names you can use to do business. However, each DBA name must be filed with the state where you conduct business. This is necessary because the general public has a legal right to know whether a specific individual or company is operating under a name other than their legal name.

In Michigan, changing your business name is a risky factor. It can bring positive and negative effects on your business. Hence, before you file and change your legal business name, analyze all the risks and advantages.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Get a DBA in Michigan

To get a DBA in Michigan, you must first check if any other business is already using the name before filing a DBA in Michigan. You can then submit the Michigan business name reservation form after it has been confirmed that no other company is already using the chosen name. You can search the Michigan Government Records Inquiry System and confirm that the name you chose is not already in use. However, getting a DBA is not mandatory in many states. If you open an LLC in Michigan, you must check with Michigan Secretary of State whether you need to file DBA or not.

Guideline for choosing a DBA name

You must choose a name to register, which is the crucial step. There are a few straightforward LLC name guidelines to follow (if you’re forming an LLC) while choosing a name in Michigan.

  • In Michigan, fictional names cannot be the same or similar to one another. A DBA cannot deceive the public by appearing to be confusingly similar to any other business name.
  • Unless the company has been incorporated as an LLC or corporation, a DBA name cannot contain a corporate indication, such as Corp or LLC, or any other words that imply an entity type. This will stop a lone proprietor from passing for a legitimate corporation.
  • Any banking-related words without a letter from the Michigan Banking Commissioner’s Office, or any insurance-related words without a letter from the Michigan Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
  • Any words that could confuse your corporation with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • A professional designation in the name (i.e., engineering, attorney) without a copy of the license of one officer/member or a letter from the governing agency allowing the use of the name without licensing.
  • Any words that indicate or imply that the corporation is engaged in a business that is not authorized by law to pursue.

How Can You Tell if a DBA Name in Michigan is available?

Once you have selected a name that complies with the requirements mentioned above, there are a number of methods you can use to find out if the name is open for registration. One simple strategy is to look up other companies in Michigan with the same name on Google.

It is a simple technique to clear out any already taken names, even though it may not guarantee that the name you want to register is accessible. As it is likely that you will require a website domain that matches your business name, you may also check to see whether the web domain for that name is accessible. For example, you can check Michigan LLC name search guide to see how you can find the availability of your desired LLC name in Michigan.

Before you may register your Trade Name in Michigan, you must have used it for business purposes. Therefore, you must use a Trade Name as soon as possible if you want to register and protect it in Michigan.

Register the Michigan DBA Name

Once you have established that the name is available for registration, you must finish the file using the forms your county has provided. You must register your DBA name in the county where you intend to conduct business. In most Michigan counties, the following fundamental information is needed-

  • Name of the company, its phone number, city, state, and street address
  • The organization type under which the business is incorporated
  • List the partners’ names and addresses (if applicable)
  • Describe the items, services, or business that will be delivered under the Fictitious Name in the registration form
  • Use of the Fictitious Name in the marketplace
  • Both the classification type and number
  • Make a mark (pick Trade Name)
  • Date and state of the first use of the trade name
  • When the Trade Name first appeared in Michigan
  • Application’s name, title, signature, and date Email address

Submitting the Michigan DBA Name Application

To file the Michigan DBA Name, you must apply to the Michigan Secretary of State. In Michigan, you can file the DBA name in three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing.. The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in Michigan is $25 for LLCs and $10 for LPs.

  • Online filing: For online filing, check the Michigan Corporations Online Filing. There, look for the “Assumed Names” section. You will get the registration form.
  • Offline filing: For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, Corporations Division, P.O. Box 30054, Lansing, MI 48909 or drop it off in person at the 2501 Woodlake Circle, Okemos, MI

Using the Michigan Trade Name

Three “specimens” demonstrating the Trade Name used must be submitted to Michigan Secretary of State. The following are some instances of acceptable specimens:

  • Business cards
  • Booklets,
  • Flyers,
  • Labels, and
  • Stickers

How to Renew a Trade Name in Michigan

You can renew your DBA name after a stipulated time. In most states, the renewal of the DBA name follows the same process as filing a fresh DBA name. You need to get the DBA renewal form, fill it up with the correct information, and submit it to the state online or offline. The renew time for DBA name filing is five years in Michigan.

How to Change a Trade Name

You can change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name) by applying to the Michigan SOS. The process is similar. You can search for the name you want to have after changing the old Trade Name. If the name is available, make sure it follows other guidelines. You can reserve your DBA name for five years; after then, you can change or renew your DBA if needed through the Michigan SOS.

FAQs

What is a DBA name in Michigan?
A DBA name, also known as a “Doing Business As” name, is a name chosen by a business entity to operate under that is different than its legal name. In Michigan, a DBA name is also known as an assumed name.
Do I need to file my DBA name in Michigan?
Yes, if you are using an assumed or DBA name for your business, you must register the name with the State of Michigan.
What are the requirements for filing a DBA name in Michigan?
To file for a DBA name in Michigan, the business must have a registered business entity in the state, such as a corporation or LLC. The business must also have a designated agent in the state and must file the assumed name with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
How long does it take to file a DBA name in Michigan?
The entire filing process typically takes between two and five business days.
How much does it cost to file a DBA name in Michigan?
The filing fee for a DBA name in Michigan is $25.
Where do I file my DBA name in Michigan?
You must file your DBA name with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
How do I file a DBA name in Michigan?
To file a DBA name in Michigan, you must fill out an Assumed Name Certificate and submit it with the required fee to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Do I need to publish my DBA name in Michigan?
Yes, you must publish your DBA name in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which your business is located.
How long is a DBA name good for in Michigan?
A DBA name in Michigan is good for five years from the date of filing.
Can I renew my DBA name in Michigan?
Yes, you can renew your DBA name in Michigan by filing a renewal application with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Do I need to register my DBA name in each county in Michigan?
No, you only need to register your DBA name with the State of Michigan.
Do I need to register my DBA name with the IRS in Michigan?
No, you only need to register your DBA name with the State of Michigan.
What is the penalty for not filing a DBA name in Michigan?
The penalty for not filing a DBA name in Michigan can vary depending on the situation, but could include fines, suspension of the business’s operating authority, or other penalties.
Can I file my DBA name online in Michigan?
Yes, you can file your DBA name online in Michigan through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ website.
Can I file multiple DBA names in Michigan?
Yes, you can file multiple DBA names in Michigan, but you must file a separate Assumed Name Certificate for each name.
Does the DBA name have to be different from the business entity name in Michigan?
Yes, the DBA name must be different from the business entity name in Michigan.
Do I need to register a DBA name if I am using a trade name in Michigan?
Yes, if you are operating under a trade name in Michigan, you must register the name with the State of Michigan.
Do I need to register a DBA name if I am using a fictitious name in Michigan?
Yes, if you are operating under a fictitious name in Michigan, you must register the name with the State of Michigan.
Does a sole proprietor need to register a DBA name in Michigan?
Yes, a sole proprietor must register a DBA name in Michigan if they are operating under a name other than their legal name.
Can I use the same DBA name in multiple states, including Michigan?
No, each state has its own rules and regulations regarding DBA names and you must register your DBA name in each state separately.
Do I need a federal trademark to file a DBA name in Michigan?
No, you do not need a federal trademark to file a DBA name in Michigan.
How do I check if my DBA name is available in Michigan?
You can check if your DBA name is available in Michigan by searching the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ online database.
Can I use a DBA name in Michigan if it is already being used by another business in the state?
No, you cannot use a DBA name in Michigan that is already being used by another business in the state.
Can I use a DBA name in Michigan if it is already being used by another business in a different state?
Yes, you can use a DBA name in Michigan if it is already being used by another business in a different state.
What happens if I don’t file a DBA name in Michigan?
If you do not file a DBA name in Michigan, you could face penalties, fines, or suspension of your business’s operating authority.
Can I cancel my DBA name in Michigan?
Yes, you can cancel your DBA name in Michigan by filing a Cancellation of Assumed Name form with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Can I change my DBA name in Michigan?
Yes, you can change your DBA name in Michigan by filing an Amended Assumed Name Certificate with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Do I need to notify the state when I change my DBA name in Michigan?
Yes, you must notify the state when you change your DBA name in Michigan by filing an Amended Assumed Name Certificate.
What is required to file a DBA Name in Michigan?
To file a DBA (Doing Business As) name in Michigan, you will need to register with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, file an Assumed Name Certificate with the county clerk in the county in which the business principal office is located, and pay the associated filing fees.
How long does it take to file a DBA Name in Michigan?
It typically takes 2-3 weeks to file a DBA Name in Michigan.
How much does it cost to file a DBA Name in Michigan?
The filing fee for a DBA Name in Michigan is $10.
What documents are required to file a DBA Name in Michigan?
To file a DBA Name in Michigan, you will need to provide the Assumed Name Certificate, a copy of the business entity’s formation documents, and the filing fee.
Who can file a DBA Name in Michigan?
Any individual, partnership, or corporation doing business in Michigan can file a DBA Name in Michigan.
What are the benefits of filing a DBA Name in Michigan?
Filing a DBA Name in Michigan can help protect your business from liability and also help customers to easily identify your business.

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Why Michigan DBA Filing is So Important

First and foremost, filing a DBA provides legal protection for business owners. By registering a DBA, business owners are able to claim their business name and ensure that no one else can use it within the state of Michigan. This is important for branding and marketing purposes, as it allows companies to create a unique identity that customers can easily recognize and associate with their products or services. Without a registered DBA, companies run the risk of other businesses infringing on their name and confusing consumers.

In addition to legal protections, filing a DBA can also help businesses establish credibility and trust with customers. When a business operates under a name that is different from its legal entity, customers may be wary of the legitimacy of the company. By taking the time to file a DBA, businesses can show consumers that they are serious about their operations and are committed to providing quality products or services.

Furthermore, registering a DBA can also have practical benefits for business owners. Many banks and financial institutions require a DBA registration in order to open a business bank account or apply for credit cards in the name of the business. This can make it easier for owners to manage their finances and keep personal and business expenses separate. Additionally, having a registered DBA can help businesses establish relationships with suppliers, partners, and other organizations that may require proof of a legitimate business entity.

Another important reason why Michigan DBA filing is crucial is for tax purposes. Businesses that operate under a name different from their legal entity must file taxes under their registered name. Failing to register a DBA could result in confusion and potential penalties from the Internal Revenue Service. By filing a DBA, businesses can ensure that they are in compliance with tax laws and regulations, which can save them time and money in the long run.

Overall, while filing a DBA may seem like a small and insignificant task, it is actually a critical step for any business operating under a different name in Michigan. From legal protections to financial benefits, registering a DBA can help businesses establish credibility, protect their brand, and ensure that they are in compliance with state and federal regulations. It is a simple yet important process that can have long-lasting effects on the success and longevity of a business.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Michigan is the best way to update your business name. Unlike the registered legal business name, you can have as many as DBA names. You can use your new assumed name as soon as the state has processed your filing, and getting one is a rather simple process. Whether you have an LLC or any other business structure, filing a DBA name is helpful for your business upgradation anytime.

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