How to File a DBA in Indiana: 4-Step DBA Forming Guide

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    Are you interested in understanding the importance of a DBA in Indiana and navigating submitting it? Look no further because you’ve come to the right place.

    Known as “doing business as,” an Indiana DBA allows business owners to adopt an alternative business name for various purposes like marketing, sales, and legal transactions. In some areas, this designation may be referred to as a fictitious name, assumed name, trade name, or something similar.

    Unlike a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a DBA doesn’t show a formal business structure and doesn’t offer similar benefits. Registering an LLC in Indiana is often more helpful due to its tax advantages and legal protections.

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    What Is an Indiana DBA (Assumed Name)?

    A DBA, short for “doing business as,” is an alternative moniker for your enterprise. For example, let’s say you own a coffee shop called Get Up & Work LLC but opt to operate under the DBA “Get Up & Go.” In Indiana, these DBAs are assumed names, while other states may label them fictitious or trade names.

    Under Indiana state legislation (IC 23-0.5-3-4), it’s mandatory for businesses to officially register their DBAs or assumed names before conducting any operations using that chosen name. Failing to do so could result in unfavorable legal ramifications, such as being charged with a Class B infraction and facing fines of up to $1,000 (IC 34-28-5-4).

    Why Hire a Professional Service to File a DBA in Indiana? 

    Filing a DBA in Indiana involves several important steps for a smooth and successful registration. It’s vital to avoid any mistakes during these procedures, as they can lead to a denied application or even more severe consequences. The state authorities in Indiana can impose fines or even shut down your business if you use an inappropriate name in legal or business contexts.

    It’s recommended to engage professional services to alleviate the concerns and uncertainties associated with the entire DBA process. These experts have extensive knowledge of Indiana’s specific requirements and can assist you in choosing an optimal name before starting the paperwork. These companies offer various services, such as LLC filing, which can be extremely valuable as your business expands.

    After thorough research, we have identified the top professional services that cater specifically to your DBA needs in Indiana:

    How to File an Indiana Assumed Name

    While formal businesses are required to register with the state and informal businesses need to register with the county, the process of registration remains consistent across all types of businesses. Here are the steps you should follow.

    1. Find Out if Your Desired DBA Name is Available

    To comply with legal requirements, your chosen business name must be unique and easily distinguishable from other registered or assumed business names (IC 23-0.5-3-1). This means that your name cannot be identical or too similar to another existing name.

    If there’s a possibility of confusion between your desired name and an already established business, it’s likely not distinguishable enough. For instance, if you wish to use the name “Six Hops Brewing,” it would not be distinguishable from “6 Hopz Brewing.”

    Note that you cannot use a name that has already been trademarked by another company. To verify the availability of a specific name, you can use various databases as resources for conducting thorough checks.

    • INBiz Business Search
    • Indiana Trademark Search
    • US Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

    If you plan on registering at the county level, reach out to the office of the recorder in your specific county. In certain counties, they provide an online search option that allows you to look up a particular business name, owner, or address.

    As an example, Lake County has a Records Search tool available for this purpose. However, if your county doesn’t offer an online records search feature, you’ll need to directly contact the recorder’s office in order to gain access to assumed name records.

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    2. Follow Indiana Naming Rules

    When selecting your assumed name, there are various guidelines that must be adhered to.

    • Ensure that your business name doesn’t inaccurately imply a connection with any state or federal government agency (IC 23-0.5-3-1).
    • Avoid using business entity identifiers such as “LLC” or “Inc” if they don’t accurately represent your business structure (IC 23-0.5-3-4(f)). For instance, if you operate as a sole proprietor, refrain from including “LLC” in your DBA.

    LLCs, LLPs, LPs, corporations, and non-profits

    If you own an LLC, LLP, LP, or any type of for-profit or non-profit corporation, you must submit your DBA application to the Secretary of State’s office by utilizing a Certificate of Assumed Business Name.

    When completing the application form, ensure that you provide the following information:

    • Business entity name
    • Date of business formation
    • Business address
    • Your assumed business name
    • The signature of a business owner or other person authorized to file on behalf of your business

    You can submit your Certificate of Assumed Name by mail, in person, or online:

    By mail or in person:

    Secretary of State

    Business Services Division

    302 West Washington Street, Room E018

    Indianapolis, IN 46204


    INBiz portal

    The filing fee is $30 for all business entities except non-profits, which only need to pay $26.

    Sole proprietorships and general partnerships

    If you’re a sole proprietor or part of a general partnership, filing may have slight variations depending on the county. To locate the contact information for your county’s recorder’s office, you can refer to the map provided by the Indiana Recorders Association. This map includes links to all county recorders’ offices.

    In some counties, like Marion County, there are specific DBA registration forms available, such as the Certificate of Assumed Business Name. However, if you need to create your own certificate, you can utilize the Standard DBA Form provided by the Indiana Recorders Association. Many counties make use of this form as well.

    When preparing your certificate, ensure that it includes relevant information such as:

    • Business name
    • The kind of business you conduct
    • Business address
    • The name(s) and address(es) of business owner(s)
    • The signature of at one business ownership

    To submit your certificate at the county level, it’s necessary to have the form notarized. To determine how applications are accepted, whether by mail, in-person, or online, you must contact your county recorder.

    According to IC 36-2-7-10, the fee for recording documents like Certificates of Assumed Name is $25. There’s a charge of $5 per each additional page. However, certain counties may impose higher fees. For instance, Marion County has a fee of $35. Please contact your county recorder directly to obtain an accurate price for your specific situation and location.

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    3. Use Your DBA Name in Indiana

    Once you have finalized the specifics of your Indiana DBA, it becomes essential to spread the word about your new business or the name change for an existing business. By using your new DBA in an official capacity, you elevate your venture to a higher level and convey a sense of professionalism.

    Whether Indiana mandates the official publication of fictitious names, local newspapers can help promote your new identity. Reach out to your county clerk’s office to gather information about any regulations regarding duration and content that you must adhere to.

    The costs of newspaper ads may vary depending on how frequently they’re published and which county you operate in. Once all terms have been agreed upon, make sure that you confirm the publication dates and double-check that everything is displayed correctly. If any information is missing or incorrect, promptly notify the newspaper so that necessary corrections can be made.

    4. Manage Your DBA

    To cancel or modify a presumed business name in Indiana, submit the required documentation either to the secretary of state or the recorder’s office in your county, depending on where your DBA (Doing Business As) is officially registered.

    LLCs, LLPs, LPs, Corporations, and Non-Profits

    • To cancel: Submit a Cancellation of Assumed Business Name form via mail or in person. There’s no charge for submitting this form.
    • To amend: Reach out to the Business Services Division of the Secretary of State’s office.

    Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships

    • To cancel: Utilize the form furnished by your county recorder’s office or the Dissolution of DBA Form from the Indiana Recorders Association.
    • To amend: Utilize the form supplied by your county recorder’s office or the Amendment of the DBA Form from the Indiana Recorders Association.

    Similar to registration forms, the cancellation and amendment forms at the county level need to be notarized. As per IC 36-2-7-10, there’s a fee of $25 for recording documents like DBA cancellation forms, with an additional $5 for each extra page. However, confirming these details with your county recorder’s office is advisable.

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    Best DBA Filing Services to Register Fictitious Name in Indiana – IN DBA

    Discover exceptional LLC services for registering a DBA name in Indiana.

    Business Rocket logo

    Looking to register a Doing Business As (DBA) in Indiana? Look no further than Business Rocket. Designed specifically for entrepreneurs and business owners, this platform offers a convenient and user-friendly experience. By simplifying the often complicated paperwork involved in DBA registration in Indiana, Business Rocket provides intuitive online tools and step-by-step guidance.

    The primary goal of Business Rocket is to streamline the entire process, helping individuals navigate the legal requirements while ensuring their chosen business name is unique and complies with Indiana regulations. 

    With features like document preparation and filing assistance, Business Rocket makes registering your DBA seamless, enabling you to establish your presence in Indiana effortlessly.

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    Northwest Registered Agent logo

    Northwest Registered Agent is a trustworthy option for various legal services, including DBA filings in Indiana. They act as a registered agent and provide an address that meets the state’s requirements for businesses operating under an alternate name.

    Besides DBA filings, Northwest Registered Agent offers various compliance services like submitting annual reports and forwarding mail. This holistic approach helps businesses stay in good standing with the state while relieving owners of administrative tasks, allowing them to concentrate on growing their enterprises.

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    Zenbusiness logo

    ZenBusiness is a comprehensive platform that offers a wide range of business services to support entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey, including assistance with filing a DBA in Indiana. With simplicity and affordability, ZenBusiness provides an easy-to-use online platform that guides users through the necessary steps for registering a DBA in Indiana.

    Besides conducting name availability checks, this service prepares the required documentation and submits filings to the appropriate authorities in Indiana. ZenBusiness offers ongoing support for compliance matters, making it an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs who want a hassle-free and compliant approach to establishing their business identity in the state of Indiana.

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    DBA vs. LLC in Indiana

    An Indiana LLC is a separate legal entity from its owner(s), providing them with protection against liability. This means that if the business is sued or has debts, the owners aren’t personally responsible. Although the business assets can be seized, the personal assets of the owners (such as property, vehicles, and savings) are protected.

    DBAs don’t offer this protection. So, if you have an unregistered business like a sole proprietorship and register a DBA (Doing Business As), it doesn’t create any legal separation between you and your business. The most convenient and cost-effective way to obtain liability protection is by forming an LLC.

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    File a DBA in Indiana – Frequently Asked Questions

    If you still need to figure out the process of filing a DBA in Indiana, continue reading to find the information you need. We have the answer you’re searching for.

    Conclusion – File a DBA in Indiana 

    In conclusion, mastering filing a DBA in Indiana can be easily accomplished by following our detailed four-step guide. If you’re looking for a more streamlined and simplified experience, consider using the services of Business Rocket. They’re a trustworthy resource that specializes in simplifying the DBA filing procedure.

    Allow Business Rocket to become your invaluable partner in developing and strengthening your business identity. By doing so, you not only save valuable time but also guarantee precision throughout every stage of the registration process.

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