How to File a DBA in Indiana

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Filing an Indiana DBA (doing business as), also known as an assumed business name, is a simple process and it’s done at the county level or with the Indiana Secretary of State depending on your business structure.

To learn more about why you may need a DBA, read our What is a DBA article.

How To Use This Guide

First, Choose Your Business Type:

Sole Proprietorship or Partnership

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single individual that isn't formally organized.

LLC, Corporation, or LLP

If your business is an LLC, Corporation, or LLP, the information to setup your DBA can be found here.

Use A Professional Service

A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.

four point eight out of fiveMyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) for a personalized DBA service.

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Filing an Indiana DBA for Sole Proprietors and General Partnerships

Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships are required to file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the appropriate County Recorder’s office(s).

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single individual that isn't formally organized. If you run a business and file taxes under your own name, you are a sole proprietor.

An Indiana DBA doesn't offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.


SKIP AHEAD

If you need to create a DBA for an LLC or Corporation, you can click here to skip ahead.

Step 1: Start With an Indiana DBA Name Search

If you haven't already, head over to the Indiana Secretary of State's Business Services website to make sure your name isn't taken by— or too similar to— another registered Indiana business.

TIP: Our business name generator tool is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are still working to create the perfect business name or website address.

Make sure your name complies with Indiana naming rules:

  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your business. Learn more about Indiana naming guidelines here.

Next, a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether someone else has already trademarked your name.

Now would be the perfect time to make sure there’s a web domain available for your DBA as well.

If you need extra guidance with naming your business, we can help.

Find a Domain Now

Service provided by GoDaddy.com

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2: Register Your DBA with the County Clerk

If your business is Sole Proprietorship or Partnership, then you are required to file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the appropriate county recorder’s office(s).

Knowing which county to file in is simple— you must file in any county where your business conducts or transacts business.

We will give you step-by-step directions to get a Marion County DBA. If you need to file in a different county than Marion County, you’ll have to get in touch with the county clerk for instructions.

You can find your counties' contact information here.

A DBA does not offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.

How to File a Marion County DBA

At this point, you should’ve already chosen a name for your business and completed the name searches in Step 1 above.

Forms

Submit Your Certificate of Assumed Business Name

Marion County Recorder’s Office
200 E. Washington Street
Suite T-741
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Fee: $35

Manage Your Marion County DBA

DBA Questions

Call (317) 327-4020 to reach the Marion County Recorder’s Office.


Renew Your DBA

Your assumed name does not expire.

Filing an Indiana DBA for LLCs, Corporations, and LLPs

LLCs, Corporations, and LLPs must file their DBA with the Indiana Secretary of State. The following business types are considered incorporated:

  • For-Profit Corporations, Non-Profit Corporations
  • Professional Corporations, Professional Associations
  • Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Any Foreign Filing Entities

If you are registering a sole proprietorship or partnership, go back to the DBA guide for unincorporated businesses.

Step 1: Start With an Indiana DBA Name Search

If you haven't already, head over to the Indiana Secretary of State's Business Services website to make sure your name isn't taken by— or too similar to— another registered Indiana business.

TIP: Our business name generator tool is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are still working to create the perfect business name or website address.

Make sure your name complies with Indiana naming rules:

  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your business. Learn more about Indiana naming guidelines here.

Next, a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether someone else has already trademarked your name.

If you need extra guidance with naming your business, we can help.

Now would be the perfect time to make sure there’s a web domain available for your DBA as well.

Find a Domain Now

Service provided by GoDaddy.com

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2: Register Your DBA with the State

If your business is incorporated, like an LLC or Corporation, you are required to file your DBA with the Indiana Secretary of State.

First, print a copy of the Certification of Assumed Business Name form.

The application will ask for your new DBA name and information about your business, such as:

  • Line 2: Date of formation
  • Line 3: Address where company will do business under the assumed name
  • Line 5: Address of principal office

You can also register your assumed name online on Indiana’s INBiz website.

A DBA does not offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.

Submit Your Certification of Assumed Business Name Form

Indiana Secretary of State
Business Services Division
302 West Washington St. Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Payment and Fees

Fees

  • $30 for the Certification of Assumed Business Name if filing a hard copy
  • $20 if filing online

Payment

Checks and money orders should be made payable to the “Secretary of State.”

Manage Your Indiana DBA

DBA Questions

Call the Indiana State Information Center: (800) 457-8283

Renew Your DBA with the State

Your assumed name does not expire.

Change Your DBA

To make changes to your certificate of assumed name, you must complete and submit the Certification of Assumed Business Name form.

Withdraw Your DBA

You can find the Cancellation of Assumed Business Name form here.

Need Help Filing Your DBA?

Have A Professional Service File Your DBA For You

A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.

We recommend using MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) for a personalized DBA service.

Indiana DBA FAQ

Can I file a DBA online in Indiana?

Yes. You can file online on Indiana’s INBiz website.

How do I change my DBA in Indiana?

For more information on changing your DBA in Indiana, call the Indiana State Information Center at (800) 457-8283.

How can I withdraw my DBA?

Contact your county register for county specific instructions for withdrawing your DBA for your unincorporated business.

For incorporated businesses, you will need to file a Cancellation of Assumed Business Name form with the Indiana Secretary of State. You can find the form here.

How often should I renew my Indiana DBA?

Your Indiana DBA doesn’t have to be renewed.

When is a DBA required in Indiana?

A Corporation doing business under a name other than the name listed on its Articles of Incorporation must file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the Office of the Secretary of State.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not required to file with the state, but if the business name does not contain the owner's name, the assumed name must be recorded with the Recorder of the county in which the business is located. Registration of a business name does not protect the name from being used by another business.

Is my DBA protected from being used in other places?

There are some state-level laws that prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but this varies from state to state. It is possible to trademark a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.

How many DBAs can I have?

You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. However, more isn’t necessarily better. Each one will come with additional incremental expense and paperwork, so you will want to make sure you have a good reason for each one you have.

Can a DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?

DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.

To learn more about EINs and when you would need one for your business, read What is An EIN from our friends at TRUiC.

Can a DBA become an LLC?

Your DBA is just a name. A DBA is often confused with a sole proprietorship. If you mean “can my sole proprietorship become an LLC?” then the answer is “Yes. Absolutely.”

To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.

Can a DBA have "Inc." in the name?

A DBA can only have "Inc." in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.

How do I set up a DBA for a Rental Property?

It’s always best to consult an attorney. Usually, the best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. Holding the rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection.

Useful Links for Your Indiana DBA