Fictitious Name Registration FAQ





What is a fictitious name and why do I have to register?

A fictitious name is a name under which any person or business shall do or transact any business in this state which is other than the true name of such person or business. A fictitious name is commonly referred to as a "DBA", an acronym for "doing business as." Filing a fictitious name registration does not afford or secure any exclusive rights to the name.

Section 417.200 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri requires anyone doing business under a name other than their true name to file a fictitious name registration with the Secretary of State's office.

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When I register a fictitious name, am I the only one who can use the name?

No. There may be an infinite number of businesses using the same name as there is no name protection under the Fictitious Name Act.

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How and where do I register?

Online registration of a fictitious name with the Office of Secretary of State can be accomplished at

To register your fictitious name by mail, obtain the registration form at Complete the form, with the name of the business, business address, the name(s) of the owner(s) of the business and the percentage of ownership. After the completed form is signed by all of the owners (signatures must be original), the form may be mailed or delivered in-person, together with the filing fee of $7.00, to either the main office in Jefferson City, or any of the Corporations Division branch offices.

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What is the effective period of my registration?

A fictitious registration is good for five years and may be renewed at the end of that period. Renewals must be made in the six-month period prior to the date of the registration's expiration.

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May I change a name or address on a fictitious name registration?

The address of the business and the address of an owner of a fictitious name registration may be changed at the time of renewal or by filing an amendment of a fictitious name.  Other information may not be changed except to correct an error on a recently filed registration (for example, a typo, a misspelled word or a transposed number in an address).

If you wish to change the name or ownership of the business, the existing fictitious name registration must be cancelled and a new fictitious name registration filed.

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If expired, may a fictitious name registration be renewed?

No. Once expired, the business must file a new fictitious name registration; upon filing the new registration, the business will be issued a new charter number.

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What are the penalties for not registering?

Failure to register your fictitious name is a misdemeanor under Missouri law and persons failing to register are subject to charges by their local prosecuting attorney.

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