In Missouri, a business operating under a fictitious name will need to register. Learn more about what a Fictitious Name is, who needs one and how to register.
What is a Fictitious Name?
A Fictitious Name also known as “Doing Business As” or DBA, Trade Name, or Assumed Name is a name used by a business, that is different from the legal name of the business.
When a business wants to operate under a name other than their legal name, the state of Missouri, like most states, require the business to register their business name. The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.
Who needs to register?
The requirements and need to register for a Fictitious Name vary, depending on the type of business entity.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA.
The legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering. For example, if John Smith starts a business repairing computers but doesn’t use a business name he doesn’t have to register. If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair then he will need to register.
Corporations and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process. Some will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without having to form another entity.
Missouri DBA Registration Form
Physical Form – https://www.sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/Business/corp56.pdf?v=2
Online – https://bsd.sos.mo.gov/loginwelcome.aspx?lobID=1
How much does it cost to register?
The filing fee to register a Fictitious Name in Missouri is $7.
Name registrations need to be renewed every five years.
What are the steps to file a DBA in Missouri?
Step 1 – Fill out the Form
Information requested on the form includes:
- Name to be registered
- Business address
- Owner information
Step 2 – File the Form
Submit the form and filing fee by mail or online to the Secretary of State.
If submitting by mail, send to:
Missouri Secretary of State
PO Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102
DBAs can’t be registered using words that are related to banks, insurance or cooperatives, unless the business is licensed to provide those services.
Protecting your business name
Registering a Fictitious Name will not keep anyone from using the exact same name. If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark – See how to protect your name through a trademark.
If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Secretary of State at 866-223-6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.