How to File a DBA Quickly in Minnesota Online in 2024

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    If you’re interested in the concept of a DBA in Minnesota and would like to understand the registration process, you’ve come to the right place. 

    In Minnesota, a DBA, also known as “doing business as,” allows business owners to adopt an alternative business name for various purposes such as marketing, sales activities, and legal matters.

    In certain states, this term may be referred to as a fictitious name, assumed name, trade name, or something similar. Unlike a Limited Liability Company (LLC), registering a DBA does not establish a formal business entity and does not provide equivalent benefits. 

    Registering as an LLC in Minnesota often proves helpful due to the tax benefits and legal protections available.

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    What Is a Minnesota DBA (Assumed Name)?

    If you prefer not to conduct your business using its official legal name, you can obtain a DBA, “doing business as.” A DBA can be considered as a moniker or alias for your business.

    In Minnesota, DBAs are referred to as assumed names, while in other states, they may be known as trade names or fictitious names. By obtaining a DBA, businesses can establish a unique brand identity, introduce new product lines, or enhance their credibility by adopting an innovative name.

    What’s Unique About DBA Registration in Minnesota?

    • Registration required: Minnesota state law mandates DBA registration, a process that must be completed before commencing the use of your DBA (Minnesota Statutes (2022), Chapter 333.01-02).
    • Registration exceptions: Unregistered businesses, such as sole proprietors and general partnerships, operating under a name containing the full names of all owners are exempt from filing a DBA. For instance, a sole proprietor can operate under “Catherine Larson Cleaning” without registering. However, if operating as “Larson Cleaning” or “Cleaning by Catherine,” DBA registration is necessary.
    • Annual renewal: DBAs in Minnesota necessitate annual renewal. Timely submission of renewal paperwork incurs no filing fee.
    • Publication requirement: Following filing, publication of your Certificate of Assumed Name in two consecutive issues of a qualified legal newspaper in the county of your principal business address is mandatory. Notice publication is required for any filed amendments to your certificate.
    • Assumed names aren’t exclusive: Registering your DBA in Minnesota does not grant exclusivity to the name. Conversely, if a desired name is registered as an assumed name to another business, you still may use it.

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    Do I Need a DBA in Minnesota?

    To comply with Minnesota regulations, it’s mandatory for Sole Proprietorships, General Partnerships, Corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), Limited Partnerships (LPs), Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), or out-of-state companies conducting regular business in Minnesota under a name other than their legal name to submit a DBA application to the Minnesota Secretary of State.

    This requirement ensures transparency and accountability in business operations within the state.

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

    Filing a DBA in Minnesota involves several steps, which we will outline shortly. It’s crucial to avoid any mistakes during these steps as they could cause a rejected application or potentially more severe consequences. 

    If there’s improper use of a name, Minnesota has the authority to impose fines or even shut down your company for legal or business purposes.

    To alleviate concerns and uncertainties throughout the entire DBA process, professional services can be incredibly helpful. These experts have extensive knowledge of Minnesota’s requirements and can assist you in selecting an ideal name before initiating any paperwork. 

    Besides offering LLC services, these providers can support your business expansion if needed. After conducting thorough research, we have identified the top professional services that can cater to your DBA requirements:

    How to Register a Minnesota Assumed Name

    In Minnesota, registering a DBA involves an additional step not typically required in other states. 

    Once you have confirmed that your desired name is available and submitted your Certificate of Assumed Name to the secretary of state’s office, it will be necessary to publish a notice about your certificate in a legal newspaper. This unique requirement sets Minnesota apart from other states regarding establishing a fictitious business name.

    1. Check Name Availability

    When submitting a DBA (Doing Business As) application, ensuring that your desired name isn’t already in use is crucial, it’s not permissible to choose a name registered as the official business name of another company in the state or one that has been trademarked.

    While there are no restrictions on multiple businesses using the same assumed name, avoiding this situation for marketing may be wise. In Michigan, your chosen name must be distinct from all other registered business names. 

    However, according to the Name Availability Guidelines provided by the Secretary of State’s office, minor alterations can render a name different enough to be accepted.

    For instance, altering spelling or incorporating abbreviations can make your chosen name unique. Final approval of an assumed name application lies within the discretion of the secretary of state’s office.

    To ensure the availability of a name, you can use various databases:

    • The Minnesota Business Name Search database allows you to check for legal, assumed, and trademarked names within the state.
    • The US Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) enables you to search for federal trademarks.

    Using a name already belonging to another business is possible with proper permission. You must complete a Consent to Use of Name form to obtain this permission. The filing fee for this form is $35 if submitted by mail and $55 if done in person or online.

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    2. Follow Minnesota DBA Naming Rules

    When choosing your DBA, multiple guidelines must be followed. As outlined in Chapter 333.01 of the Minnesota Statutes (2022), certain actions are prohibited:

    • Employ an entity identifier such as “LLC,” “Corp,” or “PLLC” only if it accurately represents your business entity. For instance, using “PLLC” is permissible solely if your business operates as a Professional Limited Liability Company.
    • Refrain from incorporating references to locations or places that inaccurately suggest the geographical location of your business. For example, using the “DBA” (Doing Business As) name “Saint Paul Academy” would be inappropriate if your business isn’t situated in Saint Paul.

    According to the guidelines provided by the governor’s Naming Your Business page, any financial institution intending to use a DBA must secure approval from the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

    3. Complete Certificate of Assumed Name

    First, you must complete the necessary paperwork, the Certificate of Assumed Name.

    The form will require you to furnish specific details as follows:

    • Your assumed name
    • Your principal business addresses
    • When using an assumed name, provide the names and addresses of individuals or business entities associated with that name. If you choose to list a business entity, it’s necessary to include the registered office address, which refers to the office of your registered agent.
    • The signature of an authorized person
    • Contact information, including a contact name, phone number, and email address

    There’s also a section where you can provide optional information regarding your business demographics, including your income level, number of employees, and business type.

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    4. File the Certificate and Pay the Filing Fee

    The DBA applications can be submitted to the Minnesota Secretary of State through mail, in person, or online.

    By mail or in person:

    Minnesota Secretary of State

    Business Services First National Bank Building

    332 Minnesota Street, Suite N201

    Saint Paul, MN 55101


    Business Filings Online

    Submitting your application by mail costs $30, and processing times depend on the order of receipt. Opting for in-person or online filing involves a higher cost of $50 but guarantees immediate processing.

    5. Publish Your Certificate in a Legal Newspaper

    To complete your DBA registration in Minnesota, you must publish your certificate in two consecutive editions of a lawful newspaper within the county where your business’s primary office is located. The Secretary of State’s Assumed Name/DBA page provides a compilation of authorized legal newspapers you can refer to for this purpose.

    6. Manage Your Minnesota Assumed Name

    Renew Your Assumed Name With the State

    To maintain compliance, it’s necessary to renew your assumed name in Minnesota annually. The renewal process can be completed online or by submitting the Assumed Name Annual Renewal form via mail or in person to the address below. It’s important to note that this renewal must be completed by December 31st each year.

    Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services

    Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building

    60 Empire Drive, Suite 100

    St Paul, MN 55103

    Fees are waived for timely filed renewals. To reinstate an expired assumed name, you can submit the current year’s renewal and pay $45 for expedited service through in-person or online filings or $25 if submitting by mail. Retroactive reinstatement is possible in these cases.

    Change Your Assumed Name

    To modify your assumed name certificate, you can change it online or complete the Amendment of Assumed Name form. This form can be submitted by mail or in person to the address below.

    Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services

    Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building

    60 Empire Drive, Suite 100

    St Paul, MN 55103

    The cost is $30 when submitting by post, $50 for online submissions, and $50 for expedited in-person service.

    Withdraw Your Assumed Name

    To terminate your assumed name in Minnesota, you can cancel it online or by completing and submitting the Cancellation of Assumed Name form. This can be done by mail or in person at the address below.

    Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services

    Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building

    60 Empire Drive, Suite 100

    St Paul, MN 55103

    Canceling an assumed name does not incur any fees.

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    Best DBA Filing Services to Register Fictitious Name in Minnesota – MN DBA

    Discover exceptional services available for the registration of a fictional name within the state of Minnesota.

    Business Rocket logo

    When registering a Doing Business As (DBA) in Minnesota, BusinessRocket stands out as an invaluable resource. This platform is designed to offer entrepreneurs and business owners a hassle-free and user-friendly experience by simplifying the typically complex paperwork involved in DBA registration within Minnesota. 

    BusinessRocket aims to streamline the entire process by providing intuitive online tools and step-by-step guidance.

    The main objective of BusinessRocket is to guide individuals through the legal requirements of DBA registration while ensuring that their chosen business name remains unique and complies with Minnesota regulations. 

    With features like document preparation assistance and filing support, BusinessRocket ensures a seamless process for registering a DBA, helping individuals easily establish their presence in Minnesota.

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    Northwest Registered Agent logo

    Northwest Registered Agent, a reputable provider of legal services, specializes in various areas, including filing DBAs in Minnesota. As a registered agent service, Northwest ensures compliance with the state’s requirements by offering a physical address that meets the criteria for an official location. 

    This is particularly important for businesses operating under an alternate name. In addition to DBA filings, Northwest Registered Agent offers comprehensive compliance services such as submitting annual reports and providing mail forwarding solutions. 

    By taking this holistic approach, businesses can maintain their good standing with the state and relieve owners of administrative burdens. This allows them to prioritize the growth and development of their enterprises without being hindered by paperwork and regulatory obligations.

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    ZenBusiness offers a comprehensive, complimentary DBA name search service for Minnesota. This user-friendly tool is available to anyone seeking to streamline their options. By inputting relevant keywords, ZenBusiness provides multiple suggestions that can be utilized or serve as inspiration.

    Once you have selected a name, it only takes ten minutes to provide ZenBusiness with the necessary information for filing on your behalf.

    The platform maintains transparency regarding startup costs and continues to offer support even after the DBA application process. ZenBusiness provides various tools to assist businesses in remaining compliant. They can aid in managing financial aspects during tax season each year.

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    DBA vs. LLC in Minnesota

    When deciding between a Doing Business As (DBA) and a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Minnesota, several factors related to business structure, liability protection, and regulatory compliance must be considered.

    A DBA, also known as a trade or fictitious name, isn’t an actual legal entity. Instead, it allows a business to operate under a different name than its official legal business name. Registering for a DBA in Minnesota is simple and may be suitable for sole proprietors or partnerships who want to operate under an alternate name.

    Establishing an LLC in Minnesota creates a separate legal entity distinct from its owners. One significant advantage of forming an LLC is that it provides limited liability protection to its members. This means that personal assets are safeguarded from any business debts or liabilities.

    This aspect can be crucial for entrepreneurs looking to protect their finances from potential risks associated with their businesses. LLCs offer flexibility in terms of management structure and taxation options. Members can choose between pass-through or corporate taxation based on what suits them best.

    Understanding the differences between DBAs and LLCs can help individuals make informed decisions about the most appropriate option for their specific needs when starting or expanding their businesses in Minnesota.

    When choosing between a DBA and an LLC in Minnesota, entrepreneurs should consider the extent of liability protection required, the desired business name, and their long-term business objectives.

    Although a DBA offers a more straightforward alternative for those primarily interested in operating under a different name, an LLC offers superior legal and financial protection. This makes it the preferred option for businesses that aspire to long-term growth and risk management.

    To make an informed decision that aligns with their business’s unique needs and goals in Minnesota, seeking advice from legal and financial experts is highly recommended.

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    File a DBA in Minnesota – Frequently Asked Questions

    If you’re seeking answers to your questions about how to file a DBA in Minnesota, continue reading to find the information you need.

    Conclusion – File a DBA in Minnesota

    Our comprehensive guide presents a seamless approach to mastering the DBA filing process in Minnesota, encompassing six detailed steps. 

    To further enhance your experience and streamline the process, we recommend using the services of BusinessRocket. As a trusted provider, they specialize in simplifying the DBA filing procedure.

    By choosing BusinessRocket as your strategic partner, you can rely on their expertise to establish and strengthen your business identity. This partnership will save you valuable time and guarantee precision at every stage of the registration journey.

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