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DBA 12/1/22 Filing Deadline Nearing

The deadline to comply with the changes made to the Assumed Business Name Law in 2017 is coming up!

Defining Assumed Business Names

An assumed business name is a name that a company employs in addition to its legal name. It is often referred to as a "fictitious name," "DBA," or "doing business as" name. By entity type, DBAs vary. A DBA is any name other than the one the limited liability company ("LLC") or corporation has registered as its legal name with the North Carolina Secretary of State. A DBA can be a slight variation of the company's registered name or something completely different.

A DBA is any name used by a sole proprietorship other than the owner's legal name. For instance, if Larry Jacobs is a sole proprietor running a handyman company, he might register a DBA name with the North Carolina Secretary of State such as "L.J. Handyman Services" and use that name in place of his given name on his website and marketing materials.

Modifications to the Assumed Business Name Law in North Carolina

A new, statewide searchable public database of assumed business names was made possible thanks to North Carolina's passage of the Assumed Business Name Act in 2017. As of December 1, 2017, the database includes all DBAs submitted on or after that date. DBAs registered prior to December 1, 2017, however, are not included in the database and will cease to exist on December 1, 2022.

Action Items

You do not need to do anything if you filed your Assumed Business Name Certificate after December 1, 2017 or if you initially filed before December 1, 2017, but you re-filed a certificate since then.

Did you register your assumed business name before December 1, 2017, and have not re-filed it since?

Your DBA will expire on December 1, 2022, if you have not renewed it or filed since December 1, 2017. To continue operating under your DBA after this date, you must submit a brand new Assumed Business Name Certificate.

Compliant certificate forms can be downloaded here to be submitted to your local Register of Deeds:

Notifying Your Licensing Board

Whenever filing a new DBA, you should notify any licensing board (e.g., The NC Real Estate Commission or The NC Licensing Board for General Contractors) that has granted you a license, in writing, as soon as possible.


“Updates to North Carolina’s Assumed Business Name Law—Are You Ready?” Ward and Smith, P.A., 31 Aug. 2022.

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