How to File a DBA in Indiana

An Indiana DBA (doing business as) is called an assumed name. Getting an Indiana DBA registration won’t protect your personal assets. Forming a formal business structure like LLC or corporation will give you liability protection along with a business name.

Forming an LLC is the best choice for most small businesses. Learn more in our DBA vs LLC guide.

To get started with an Indiana DBA, choose your business entity type:


Register an Indiana DBA for a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership

General partnerships and sole proprietorships are required to file their Indiana DBA with the County Recorder in the county that their business is located. Estates and real estate investment companies are also required to file with the county.

A general partnership is a business formed by two or more people, without a formal business structure. A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single individual that isn't formally organized. In either case, the name of the business is the same as the name of the owners. A DBA can be useful in these cases for changing the name of the business to a more marketable name.

A DBA is only used for branding. A DBA doesn't offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For this reason, we strongly recommend that a DBA should only be used by a formal business structure such as an LLC or corporation for the purpose of adding new brands to an existing business. 

If you are running an informal business (sole proprietorship or partnership), we strongly suggest forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets. The name of the LLC can be selected to act as the brand name for the business.

Use our How to Get a DBA in Indiana guide below to register an Indiana assumed name for your business. For a look at DBA filing in another state, check out our other step-by-step How to Get a DBA guides.

Step 1. Start With an Indiana Assumed Business Name Search

Indiana assumed business names must be unique and must also meet Indiana’s business name requirements.

First, visit the Indiana Secretary of State's website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

Next, review the Indiana naming requirements. In Indiana, assumed business names should NOT include:

  • Words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.)
  • The word “bank” or any variation without approval from the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions.
  • The word “medical” unless the company is a professional corporation in which all shareholders are licensed physicians.

We recommend checking if your name is available as a web domain (URL). You might not plan on starting a business website today, but you may want to prevent others from acquiring your URL.

Find a Domain Now

Once you reserve a domain name for your DBA, consider setting up a business phone system to help strengthen your customer service and boost credibility. We recommend Phone.com because of its affordable pricing and variety of useful features. Start calling with Phone.com.

Need Help Creating a Brand Name and Logo?

If you need help coming up with a DBA name, try our business name generator. Then, create a unique logo for your brand with our free logo generator.

Step 2. Filing a DBA in Indiana with the County Recorder

Sole proprietors and partnerships are required to file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the appropriate county recorder office(s) in order to operate under a DBA.

Sole proprietors and partnerships must file in any county where your business conducts or transacts business.

We will give you step-by-step directions to get a Marion County DBA (Indianapolis). For directions in other counties, please contact your county recorder.

You can find each counties' contact information from the Indiana Secretary of State's list of county recorders.

How to File a Marion County DBA

Before you start the DBA filing process, it is a good idea to search the county assumed business name records in the county office.

Once you have selected your name, you will then complete the Certificate of Assumed Business Name and submit it to the Marion County Recorder. The certificate can be submitted either by mail or in-person.

File Your Marion County Assumed Name

File the Certificate of Assumed Business Name by Mail or In-Person

Download Form

Cost:
$35 
Filing Fee

Filing Address:
Marion County Recorder’s Office
200 E. Washington Street
Suite T-741
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Note:
Marion County also accepts electronic document filing through several third-party services.

Manage Your Marion County DBA

DBA Questions
Call (317) 327-4020 to reach the Marion County Recorder’s Office.

Renew Your DBA
Your assumed name does not expire.

Withdraw Your DBA
File the Dissolution of Doing Business As (DBA) form with the Marion County Recorder’s Office. This form must be notarized.

If you want to use a professional service to get a DBA for your sole proprietorship or partnership we recommend:

four point five out of five  Swyft Filings ($99 + state fee)

File an Indiana DBA for an LLC or Corporation

Incorporated businesses file their Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the Indiana Secretary of State.

The following business types are considered incorporated:

  • For-profit Corporations, Nonprofit Corporations
  • Professional Corporations, Professional Associations
  • Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Any Foreign Filing Entities

You can file a DBA for your incorporated business yourself by using this guide. Or, use a professional service:

Step 1. Do an Indiana Business Entity Search

Indiana assumed business names must be unique and must also meet Indiana’s business name requirements.

First, visit the Indiana Secretary of State's website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.

Next, review the Indiana naming requirements. In Indiana, assumed business names should NOT include:

  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.)
  • The word “bank” or any variation without approval from the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions.
  • The word “medical” unless the company is a professional corporation in which all shareholders are licensed physicians.

You can also read the Indiana state statutes that cover LLC and corporation naming guidelines for more information.

We recommend checking if your name is available as a web domain (URL). You might not plan on starting a business website today, but you may want to prevent others from acquiring your URL.

Find a Domain Now

Need Help Creating a Brand Name and Logo?

If you need help coming up with a DBA name, try our business name generator. Then, create a unique logo for your brand with our free logo generator.

Step 2: Filing Your Indiana Certificate of Assumed Business Name

You are required to set up your DBA with the Secretary of State if your business is incorporated. The Certificate of Assumed Business Name can be filed online or with a hard copy by mail or in-person. The form will ask for your new DBA name and information about your business.

File Your Indiana Assumed Name

Option 1: File Online With INBiz

File Online

- OR -

Option 2: File the Certificate of Assumed Business Name (Form 30353) by Mail or In-Person

Download Form


Cost:
$30 ($20 online) filing fee for LLCs, for-profit corporations, LPs, and LLPs
$26 ($10 online) filing fee for nonprofit corporations

Filing Address:
Indiana Secretary of State
Business Services Division
302 West Washington St. Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Manage Your Indiana DBA

DBA Questions
Call the Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division: (317) 232-6576

Renew Your DBA with the State
Your assumed name does not expire.

Change Your DBA
To make changes to your Certificate of Assumed Name, you must complete and re-submit the Certification of Assumed Business Name form.

Withdraw Your DBA
You can withdraw or cancel your DBA online or by completing the Cancellation of Assumed Business Name form. There is no filing fee.

If you want to use a professional service to get a DBA for your LLC or corporation we recommend:

four point five out of five Swyft Filings ($99 + state fee)

After Filing Your Indiana DBA

If filing a DBA marks the beginning of your business journey, then there are a few more steps that you should take before getting started:

  • Create your Business’s Website - Every business needs a website. Luckily, drag-and-drop builders like GoDaddy and Wix make the job quick and easy. Check out our Best Website Builder article to find the tool that’s best for you.
  • Get your Business Finances in Order - You’ll need to separate your business finances from your personal ones. This is accomplished by opening a business bank account. If your business has long lead times or other cash flow irregularities, you can also look into a business credit card.
  • Protect Your Business - While an LLC will help to protect your personal assets in the case of a lawsuit, your business’s assets also need protection. Having the right business insurance will ensure that you’re covered if the worst happens. Most businesses start with general liability insurance as their base coverage.

DBA Indiana FAQ

How many DBAs can I have?

You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. Each one comes with additional incremental expenses and paperwork, meaning more is not necessarily better.

Can a DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?

DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.

To learn more about EINs and when you need one for your business, read our What is an EIN guide.

Can a DBA become an LLC?

No. An LLC is a business entity, while a DBA is just a name for a business.

Sole proprietorships are often confused with DBAs, but they are not the same: a sole proprietorship is a business entity, therefore it can choose to become an LLC.

To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.

Can a DBA have Inc. in the name?

A DBA can only have Inc. in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.

How do I set up a DBA for a rental property?

Holding a rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection. The best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. In any case, it is always best to consult an attorney.

When would it be good to get a DBA versus a legal name change?

Getting a DBA is often a better choice than changing your business’s legal name. If you want to rebrand your company or focus on another line of business, filing for a DBA is a simpler process than filing for a legal name change.

Is my DBA protected from being used in other places?

Some state-level laws prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but this varies from state to state. It is possible to trademark a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.

Useful Links for Your Indiana DBA