Starting a company

How To File A DBA In Minnesota

Key Highlights

  • Learn more about DBAs, or doing business as, and how they are employed when a firm uses a name other than its legal one.
  • Understand how to use a DBA. Even if it doesn't lead to creating a new law practice, it may be helpful for branding and marketing operations.
  • Learn more about Minnesota's regulations on DBA names and why it's crucial to make sure the name is both legal and pronounceable.
  • Before submitting a DBA application, take into account the process of how important it is to think about the potential legal and tax ramifications. If required, consult an attorney or accountant.

What is DBA?

Knowledge is a powerful asset in the corporate world. Doing business As, or DBA, is the acronym you need to be familiar with while conducting business in the US under a name other than your own. It's an important idea influencing your branding, marketing, and legal compliance.

Refrain from assuming that DBA is always used to signify the same thing. It is also called an "Assumed Name" or a "Fictitious Business Name." Some businesses even go so far as to create fictitious names unrelated to their actual ones. Even though these details might appear little, they can significantly affect your company's financial and legal position. Therefore, a wise business owner must comprehend these nuances and how they relate to your circumstance.

Recall that knowledge is the key to success in the corporate world. Additionally, comprehending DBA is only one aspect of the puzzle. Therefore, continue developing yourself and expanding your enterprise.

Why do you need a DBA?

A corporation can benefit greatly from having a strong and recognizable name. It represents the company's ideals, commitments, and guiding values to its clients. However, a corporation could need to alter its name from time to time to reflect a new strategy, hit a different market, or mend relations with customers.

DBA can be useful in this situation. Doing business, sometimes known as "DBA," is using a name other than its legal one. For instance, to let everyone know that XYZ Inc. has decided to launch a new product line called "ABC Products," the company must submit a DBA application to the appropriate regulatory body (typically at the state or municipal level).

Utilizing a DBA has several tactical and strategic advantages. Practically speaking, registering bank accounts, getting company licenses, and submitting loan applications may make it simpler. It can be challenging to demonstrate that a corporation is the same thing when it uses a name different from its legal one, leading to delays and issues. However, a DBA clarifies the relationship between the business's trade and legal names, making several administrative chores easier.

Additionally, using a DBA may assist businesses in achieving their strategic goals. For instance, an organization could focus on a particular product line or enter a new market and develop a distinctive brand identity that appeals to its target market. A purchase, merger, or modification of the principal market may also require a name change. A DBA may assist in these situations by informing customers and stakeholders of the changes, facilitating a smoother and less perplexing transition.

How to set up a DBA in Minnesota

It is required to file a DBA application with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office if one is doing business in Minnesota under a title other than their legal name. The below steps describe how to create a DBA in Minnesota:

  • Elect a name first. Select a name that another Minnesota company hasn't already used. Access the Secretary of State's website to verify whether specific names are available.
  • Registering the name is next. The county clerk's office in the area where one's business is located must be contacted to achieve this.
  • The DBA form should then be completed. A business's details and the name that is being registered must be included on the form, which is accessible on the Secretary of State's website.
  • Fourth, have the form notarized. With a notary public, the form can be submitted.
  • Submit the form. You have the option of filing the form online or by mail. There must be a filing fee, the precise amount of which varies by county.
  • Further, provide the notification. A newspaper in the county where the business is situated must run a notice of the DBA for two consecutive weeks.
  • Finally, obtain the necessary permits. Before starting operations under one's DBA, extra permits or licenses may be needed depending on the nature of one's firm.

Minnesota DBA name restrictions

There are several aspects to think about when registering a DBA name in Minnesota. Priority should be given to avoiding choosing a name similar to or identical to a brand-new company name already registered. Furthermore, the selected name must not contain any false or deceptive elements that can cause people to believe that the company is associated with a government body.

Additionally, confirming that the name complies with any rules or specifications unique to the business is essential. For instance, it's crucial to avoid any terminology suggesting the company is a duly licensed medical provider if it works in the healthcare sector.

To be safe, it is advised to perform a thorough search of existing business names and consult a lawyer to ensure that the selected DBA name does not violate any laws or trademarks.

Forms needed to file a DBA in Minnesota

To set up a DBA in Minnesota, a Certificate of Assumed Name form must be filled out and submitted to the Secretary of State's office. This form can be acquired online, in person, or by mail. Your legal name, the DBA name you choose, and your business address are among the basic information about your company that must be included on the form. A cost for submitting the form may be paid online or by cheque to finish the procedure. Legal notice of your DBA name may also need to be published in a nearby newspaper to complete the registration procedure. Although the intricacy of this process can appear intimidating, if you pay close attention to the details, you can effectively establish your DBA in Minnesota.

Minnesota DBA filing & registration

A DBA, or "doing business as," form must be filed in Minnesota if you intend to run a business under a name other than yours. A Certificate of Assumed Name form must be submitted to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, and a legal notice to be printed in the neighborhood newspaper.

Opting for a Name

Before beginning, select a name that conforms with Minnesota's DBA name requirements. If your chosen name satisfies these requirements, you may submit a Certificate of Assumed Name form to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office. Your legal name, desired "doing business as" (DBA) name and business address are among the fundamental firm details that must be included on this form. 

The submission of a Certificate of Assumed Name

The Minnesota Secretary of State's office will accept a Certificate of Assumed Name form once you have decided on a name. You must fill out this form with basic information about your company, including your legal name, preferred DBA name, and business address. The Certificate of Assumed Name form has a $50 filing fee, but don't worry; it's a tiny amount to pay to be able to conduct business under the name of your choice. Depending on your desire, you can send the form through email or postal mail. 

Putting a Legal Notice Online

Compliance with publishing guidelines is necessary when creating a notice of the assumed name for a firm that is legally enforceable. After the Certificate of Assumed Name has been filed, the notification must be published in a respectable newspaper in the municipality where the firm operates. Per the prescribed rules, the legal notice must be printed for two consecutive issues to maximize visibility and information distribution. After the notice has been sent out, it is the company's responsibility to get an Affidavit of Circulation from the publication, which must then be submitted to the Minnesota Secretary of State.

Getting a Publication Affidavit

In short, obtaining a Publication Affidavit is a crucial step in safeguarding the business's assumed name legally, and as such, it shouldn't be disregarded. Business owners may easily traverse the complicated world of legal formalities and ensure that the law sufficiently protects their companies by considering the above principles.

Minnesota DBA tax considerations

The most important thing to remember when applying for a DBA in Minnesota is that this does not create a different legal entity for taxation. Since the DBA's revenue is reported on the owner's personal income tax return, company owners will continue to report income and pay taxes using their tax identification number (TIN).

However, suppose a DBA is owned jointly by many people, such as in a partnership or LLC. In that case, the business owners might need to file for a separate tax identification number specifically for the DBA. This criterion will be based on the specifics of the company's operations and the advice of a tax expert.

Moreover, companies operating under a DBA would need to register with the Minnesota Department of Revenue for sales and use tax, depending on the sort of business and if it offers taxable goods or services. Business owners should consult the Minnesota Department of Revenue or a tax expert to determine their liabilities.

How much does a DBA filing cost in Minnesota?

The DBA registration cost varies by county in Minnesota, depending on where the business organization is located. The filing fee typically costs between $10 and $50. It's important to remember that extra costs can be associated with acquiring an authorized copy of the DBA filing or publishing the DBA in a local newspaper. To find out the exact price of submitting a DBA, you are strongly advised to contact the county where the firm is located.


In conclusion, understanding "doing business as," also known as DBA, is of the utmost importance for every entrepreneur, particularly if they want to conduct business in the United States under a name other than their legal one. Starting a DBA in Minnesota requires completing and submitting the required paperwork and paying the required fees. It is essential to consider any restrictions on the name and any tax ramifications when creating a DBA. To build a successful and legal business, it is crucial to understand the DBA idea and its workings. It may also help organizations achieve their strategic goals.

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Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

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