An assumed business name is not a business’ legal name but the name it presents to the public or its “D/B/A.” North Carolina maintains a statewide database of assumed business names publicly accessible on the Secretary of State website. This database is meant to provide accessibility to consumers and streamline the process for filers who conduct business in multiple counties. This revised set of laws regulating the use and registration of assumed business names in North Carolina is codified in Chapter 66, Article 14A of the General Statutes, known as the “Assumed Business Name Act.” The Act became effective in December 2017 and provided a five-year transition period for all pre-existing assumed business name filers to re-file an assumed business name certificate. This means any assumed name certificate registered before December 1, 2017, will expire on December 1, 2022.
Businesses affected by this expiration must register a new Certificate of Assumed Name and pay a $26 fee before their certificate expires. If a business’ certificate of assumed name expires, the business cannot use the assumed name until a new certificate is filed. Businesses operating under an assumed name should also note the requirement to update the information in their filing within sixty days of it changing. The filing or updating of a certificate of assumed name can be done at your local register of deeds but allows filers to designate multiple counties for conducting business on a single filing. A separate filing in each county where business is conducted is not required. A current, accurate, and compliant assumed business name certificate is necessary to preserve the effectiveness of the assumed business name designation.
For more information and to access Assumed Business Name Forms, visit: https://www.sosnc.gov/divisions/business_registration/assumed_business_names