Need to Register your business?

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If your business operates as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, you should file an “Assumed Name Certificate”, also known as a DBA (stands for “doing business as”), for each name the business uses in commerce.  The form is filed with the county clerk in each county where a business premise is maintained. If no business premise is maintained, it should be filed in each county where business will be conducted.

If your business operates as a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company (LLC) and operates under a name other than the name on file with the Secretary of State, an Assumed Name Certificate must be filed with the Secretary of State.

Please Note – Neither the filing of an Assumed Name Certificate nor the reservation or registration of a company name imparts any real protection to the party filing the certificate. It is merely a formal process that informs the general public of the registered agent for a business and where official contact with the business can be made.  In case of a name dispute, it can be used as legal evidence in litigation.

Basic steps for filing a DBA

Changes to filing processes due to COVID19:

Referring to Step 4 below - Most government notaries are not available at this time. Please call your local UPS or FedEx Store to determine if they have one available.

Referring to Step 5 below - The County Clerks offices are not taking walk ins at this time. Please call your county clerk to determine where they want you to mail your form.

Your local ASBDC can help you file an Assumed Name Certificate, also known as a “DBA” (Doing Business As)  anywhere in Texas. If you’re not in Texas your local office can assist you with filing your business in your state.

If you need assistance filling out any of these forms or have other questions, please contact your local ASBDC. 

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1. What form of business?

The Governor's Small Business Handbook is a great resource on information regarding opening a business in Texas. Page 8 in the PDF has detailed information about the different forms of business in Texas. As always, if you have more questions feel free to give us a call!
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2. Searches

While not required, it is in your best interest to conduct a search to see if anyone else is already using the name you want to use.
County Clerk Records Search

For Business names filed at the county level. This site contains records for 24 Counties. For counties not listed on this site contact your County Clerk's office to find out how to do a search of their records.

Comptroller's Taxable Entity Search

For state-filed businesses such as Corporations, LLCs, etc. This site contains the Comptroller’s Taxable Entity Records. You can find MOST state registered businesses here. If you have any concern that the business name you want is take please email the SOS above.

Secretary of State Records Search

For state-filed businesses such as Corporations, LLCs, etc. Contact the Secretary of State(SOS) to determine if a name you want to register is available. Note: Online search requires payment of a fee by credit card.

3. Forms

1. County DBA Form

for Sole Proprietor, General Partnership or Unincorporated Non-Profit. Expires in 10 years.

2. County Abandonment Form

for Sole Proprietor, General Partnership or Unincorporated Non-Profit. For use when you are no longer in business.

3. County Withdrawal Form

for Sole Proprietor, General Partnership or Unincorporated Non-profit. For use when a partner wants to exit a business.

4. Secretary of State

LLCs and Corporations must file with the Secretary of State.

The most common forms are: 201, 205 & 503

4. Notary

We can notarize your documents for you for a $6 fee. You will need a valid form of ID issued by the US or one of the states. We cannot accept a foreign passport or ID.
Find a local Notary HERE.

5. County Clerk

Once you have completed your form, you will bring it to the Clerk in the County in which you will be doing business along with your fee for filing. Please contact your County Clerk for information about hours and fees.
Find your local County Clerk HERE.

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America's SBDC at WTAMU | 720 S. Tyler Street, Amarillo, Texas 79101 | Email | Phone: 806-651-5151

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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

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