How to File a Michigan DBA (Doing Business As) – DBA MI Guide [2022]

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Getting a DBA or assumed business name is easy in Michigan. Here are our 3-step instructions for getting a unique name to set your business apart.

Important! Please keep in mind that DBA is not a business structure, so it won’t protect you from liabilities, lawsuits, or any other unforeseen situations. DBA stands for Doing Business As. – often precedes the name under which a business operates, which is not the legal name of the business.

Therefore, before starting, make sure you understand the difference between informal business structures such as sole proprietorship and formal ones like corporations and LLCs.

To register or renew the trademark, trade name, or service mark for your company in Michigan you need to file the application to the Secretary of State. Here is what you need to do:

Michigan Business Entity Search

Your company’s trade name should be unique and have not been acquired by any other entity in Michigan. Moreover, this name must also meet the business name requirements of Michigan.

First, you have to search the Michigan Department of Licencing and Regulatory affairs website for the DBA, Business, & Fictitious names. Check the website thoroughly to know whether the name that you wish to have for your business has already been taken by someone or not. Make sure, this name isn’t already in use.

Note: You can also find a complete guide on business name search here.

Once you are done searching, the next step is to review the naming requirements of the state of Michigan. In general, your DBA should not include:

  • Term that confuse your business with government institutions such as state department, FBI, treasury, etc
  • The words “bank,” “industrial bank,” “surety,” “deposit,” “security,” “trust company” or “trust,” and some other terms that suggest that the business is a banking, surety, insurance, or trust company unless approved by respective state department.

Register Your Michigan DBA

Businesses That Register DBA With County’s Clerk

Michigan sole proprietors and partnerships are required to file an assumed business name application with the county clerk’s office(s) where the business is conducted or business orders are transacted.

Michigan State Association of County Clerks helps you find your county clerk’s contact information. 

Businesses that Register DBA with the Secretary Of State

The following businesses need to register their trade names with the Michigan Department of State:

  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
  • For-profit Corporations
  • Nonprofit Corporations
  • Any Foreign Filing Entities
  • Limited Partnerships (LPs)
  • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

File a Michigan DBA Online with Michigan Coorporations or download the Assumed Business Name Application and send it to

DBA Filing Mailing Address:
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909

DBA Filing In-Person Address:
2501 Woodlake Circle
Okemos, MI

Michigan DBA Filing Fee

$100: for corporations, LPs, and LLPs
$25: for LLCs

Top Tip:

Instead of doing it yourself, save some time by hiring a reliable formation service like ZenBusiness. You can see editors’ Review on ZenBusiness to decide if it’s the best choice for your company.

The following information must include in the Michigan trade name form:

  • Your business name and adress
  • Owners/partners of the business and addresses
  • Entity type (eg; LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
  • Trade name’s description

Renew, Change or Withdraw Your Michigan DBA

Renew Your Fictitious Name With the State

After fifth calender year, your certificate of Michigan Assumed Business Name expires on December 31. So there is no need for the renewal of DBA in Michigan. Call the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to renew your M1 DBA: (517) 241-6470

Change Your Fictitious Name

If you wish to make changes in your Michigan assumed business name, Call at (517) 241-6470, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Withdraw Your Fictitious Name

You can cancel your Michigan assumed business name by filling the Cancellation Certificate of DBA application. The cancellation fee for LLCs is $25 and for corporations and LPs is $10.

Editor’s Insight

Filing a Michigan fictitious business name, aka a Michigan DBA (doing business as), is an easy and straightforward process. If you want to save time and effort, LLC filing companies like LegalZoom and ZenBusiness can help you get that at a fraction of the cost.

However, if you are interested in DIY, you just need to follow the above-mentioned step-by-step guide or see how to Get a DBA in any of the 50 states.

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