Under the Assumed Business Name Act, all businesses must have their names registered. Sole proprietors and general partnerships must file for an Assumed Name Certificate with the county clerk’s office.
Corporations (such as Inc., Co., or LLC) must file their names with the Secretary of State’s Office. Corporations do not need to file for the Assumed Name Certificate unless the corporation is doing business as another name. (Such as XYZ Corporation, doing business as Letters-R-Us). If a corporation wishes to adopt an assumed name, they must make application with the Secretary of State.
Who Must File?
Anyone using a name other than their own personal name for their business is required to file for an Assumed Name Certificate. Note: Adding wording to your name still constitutes an assumed name. (For example: John Doe Company).
How Do I File?
To initiate the process, you must appear at the County Clerk’s office with photo ID. You will complete an Application, then you will be provided with a Notice which must be published in the local newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks. The first of the three notices must be published within 15 days of the initial filing of the Assumed Name Application.
After publishing, the newspaper completes the Publisher’s Certificate, attaches it to the original publication, and returns it to the County Clerk. This Certification must be received by the County Clerk within 50 days of the date of filing in order to complete the process. If the process is not complete within the 50 days, the certification will be considered void. Ultimately, it is the business owner’s responsibility to follow up and make sure the requirements are met within the specified time frame.
Fees and Other Requirements:
- $5 to the County Clerk for the initial Assumed Name filing fee.
- $1.50 for a change of address for the business or owner. No additional publication is required.
- $1.50 to add or withdraw an owner. Publication is required.
- $1.50 to withdraw an Assumed Name. Publication is required.
- The business owner is responsible for all publication fees, and pays them directly to the newspaper.