How to File a DBA in Minnesota

Minnesota DBA (doing business as) is called an assumed name. Minnesota assumed name registration allows a business to operate under a name that’s different from its legal name.

DBA registration won’t protect your personal assets like forming an LLC or corporation will. Learn why in our DBA vs LLC guide.

Or, use a professional DBA service:

four point eight out of five  MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) 

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Register for an Assumed Name Certificate in MN

Registering a Minnesota assumed name, also known as a DBA, is easy!

Learn How to File a DBA in Minnesota yourself in three steps:

  1. Start with a Minnesota Assumed Name Search
  2. Register Your Minnesota DBA
  3. Publish Notice of Your Minnesota DBA

Note: A DBA is only used for branding. We recommend forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets.

Step 1. Start with a Minnesota Assumed Name Search

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

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

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

  • Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp., etc unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, or etc.
  • Any terms given to financial institutions, including: “bank,” “banc,” “banco,” “banque,” “banker,” “trust company,” “savings and loan association,” “savings bank,” “credit union,” or other similar words.

Need Help Choosing a DBA Name?

If you need help coming up with a DBA name, try our business name generator. You can use this tool to generate both business names and domain names.

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

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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. Register Your Minnesota DBA

Your Minnesota assumed name can be filed online or by mail with the Secretary of State. You can file online with the Secretary of State’s website or you can complete the Certificate of Assumed Name form.

Some important sections of the form include:

  • Section 1: Assumed name
  • Section 2: Address of principal place of business
  • Section 3: Names and addresses of all owners of the assumed name

A DBA does not offer any legal protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.

File a Minnesota Assumed Name

Option 1: File Online on the Secretary of State’s Website

File Online

- OR -

Option 2: File the Certificate of Assumed Name by Mail or In-Person

Download Form


Cost:
$50 Filing Fee (Online and Expedited In-Person Filings)
$30 Filing Fee (Mail)

Filing Address:
Minnesota Secretary of State - Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St Paul, MN 55103

Step 3. Publish Notice of Your Minnesota DBA

After filing the Certificate of Assumed Name, it must be published for two consecutive issues in the legal notices section of a qualified newspaper in the county where the principal place of business is located.

The newspaper will provide further instructions. After publication, the newspaper will return an affidavit of publication and the newspaper ad, which should both be kept.

Manage Your Minnesota Assumed Name

General Questions
Call the Minnesota Secretary of State: (877) 551-6767

Renew Your Assumed Name With the State
Your Minnesota assumed name must be renewed annually by December 31. You can renew online or by completing the Assumed Name Annual Renewal form and submitting it to the address below by mail or in-person:

Minnesota Secretary of State - Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St Paul, MN 55103

There is no fee if you file the renewal on time. You can retroactively reinstate an expired assumed name by filing the current year's renewal and paying a $45 for expedited service in-person and online filings or $25 if submitted by mail.

Change Your Assumed Name
You can make amendments to your certificate of assumed name online or by filling out the Amendment of Assumed Name form and submitting it to the address below by mail or in-person:

Minnesota Secretary of State - Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St Paul, MN 55103

The fee is $30 if filed by mail, $50 if done online, and $50 for in-person expedited service.

Withdraw Your Assumed Name
You can cancel your Minnesota assumed name online or by filling out the Cancellation of Assumed Name form and submitting it to the address below by mail or in-person:

Minnesota Secretary of State - Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St Paul, MN 55103

There is no fee for canceling an assumed name.

After Filing Your Minnesota 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.

Need Help Filing Your Minnesota DBA?

Have a Professional Service File Your Minnesota DBA For You

A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your business.

Recommended: MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) 

DBA Minnesota 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 Minnesota DBA