In Oregon, a business operating under a fictitious name will need to register a DBA.  Learn more about what a DBA is, who needs one and how to register.

What is a DBA?

A DBA, also known as “Doing Business As”, Trade Name, Assumed Name or Fictitious Name is a name used by a business, that is different from the legal name of the business.   This name is often referred to as an Assumed Business Name in Oregon.

When a business wants to operate under a name other than their legal name, the state of Oregon, 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 an Assumed Business Name are organized under Oregon Statutes ORS 648.007.  These requirements 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 name, middle initial and last name, which can be used without registering.  For example, if John F. Smith starts a business repairing computers operating under John F. Smith or John F. Smith Computer Repair he doesn’t need 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.

Oregon DBA Registration Form

Forms to file an Assumed Business Name Registration are available from the Secretary of State.

How much does it cost to register?

The filing fee to register a DBA in Oregon is $50.

Name filings need to be renewed every two years.

What are the steps to file a DBA in Oregon?

Step 1 – Verify Name Availability
A business may not register a name that is the same or similar to another business in Oregon.

 A business name is considered unique if it does not exactly copy a registered name. One word, the order of key words, addition of numbers, creative spelling or even a letter’s difference in a name is enough to make it unique. In addition, an assumed business name is filed by county, so there may be a registered name that is identical in another county.

Names can be searched on the Secretary of State’s website.  Learn how to do a business name search in Oregon.

Step 2 – Fill out the Form
Information requested on the form includes:

    • Name being registered
    • What the business does
    • Principal address of the business
    • Name and mailing address of the owners
    • Counties the name is being registered to be used in

Step 3 – Submit the Form
Submit the filing fee and form.  If mailing, send to:

Secretary of State – Corporation Division
255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 151
Salem, OR 97310-1327

Name Restrictions

DBAs can’t be registered using words that are related banking or financial activities without approval from the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. Names must also be written in the English language, but can include numbers and incidental punctuation.

Protecting your business name

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Oregon, it does very little from someone else operating a business under that name in other states.  If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark.

Learn more about trademarks.  

 

Questions?

If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Secretary of State at 503-986-2200.

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