Filing An Assumed Name (DBA)

NC General Statute § 66-71.4. "Filing of certificate; exception. (a) Before any person engages in business in this State under an assumed business name, the person must file an assumed business name certificate in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the person is or will be engaged in business. If the person is or will be engaged in business in multiple counties, filing is required in only one of those counties."

§ 66-71.15. Expiration of certificates filed under Article 14; transition provisions. (a) All certificates of assumed name filed under former Article 14 of this Chapter expire December 1, 2022, and the provisions of that former Article continue to apply to them until that date except as provided in this section. On or after that date, any person that (i) is listed as an owner of the business in a certificate of assumed name filed under that former Article and (ii) desires to continue engaging in business in this State under the assumed business name after that date must file an assumed business name certificate under this Article.

If you wish to incorporate your business, please visit the North Carolina Secretary of State's website at:

For more information call (919) 814-5400.

To get the Assumed Name (or DBA – “doing business as”) certificate forms you may access them on our main web page under Forms or go to the Business Link NC - Business Forms page located at the following link:

You should perform a name search to determine if the proposed business name has already been recorded before recording the Assumed Name completed certificate. The Register of Deeds Office cannot perform the name search for you but we will assist you with how to search if needed. The cost is $26, payable in cash, check or credit card if you choose to record the certificate in person or you may mail your completed certificate form with a check or money order for $26 to Johnston County Register of Deeds, PO Box 118, Smithfield, NC 27577 with a self-addressed stamped return envelope.

Thank you,

Craig Olive

Register of Deeds


Assumed Business Name Forms 

Related Links

Rural RISE NC – free/low-cost business resources in Johnston County and beyond.



Assumed Business Name Contents.  Effective October 1, 2019, an assumed business name certificate may not use an assumed name that has entity terms or abbreviations unless there is an entity registered in that name. This applies to use of the terms corporation, incorporated, corp., inc., limited liability company, L.L.C., LLC, limited partnership, L.P., LP, limited liability partnership, registered limited liability limited partnership, or similar limited liability partnership indicators. (Note that an entity may file an assumed name just like a human. For example, Jane Smith Corporation may file a certificate for “Jane’s Wonders.” But no one may file for “Jane Smith Corporation” as an assumed business name unless Jane Smith Corporation has filed articles of incorporation.)

North Carolina General Assembly Session Law 2019-117 Senate Bill 594

General Statute "§ 66-71.5. Contents of certificate.

(a) An assumed business name certificate must include all of the following:

(1) The assumed business name, subject to the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

(2) A real name of the person engaging in business under the assumed business name. If the business is a partnership other than a limited liability partnership or limited partnership, the assumed business name certificate must include a real name of five general partners or of each general partner, whichever is fewer.

(3) The nature of the business.

(4) The street address of the principal place of business.

(5) Each county where the person uses or will be using the assumed business name to engage in business.

(b) A person may not include in an assumed business name any of the following terms:

(1) "Corporation," "incorporated," "corp.," or "inc.," unless the entity is a corporation organized under Chapter 55 or Chapter 55A of the General Statutes.

(2) "Limited liability company," "L.L.C." or "LLC," or any other similar abbreviation or form of "limited liability company" unless the entity is a limited liability company organized under Chapter 55D of the General Statutes.

(3) "Limited partnership," "L.P." or "LP," or any other similar abbreviation or form of "limited partnership," unless the entity is a limited partnership organized under Chapter 59 of the General Statutes.

(4) "Limited liability partnership," "registered limited liability limited partnership," or any other similar abbreviation or form of those terms, unless the entity is organized or registered as a limited liability partnership under Chapter 59 of the General Statutes."

Page last updated: April 30, 2024