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DBA/Co-Partnership FAQ's

Q: What do I do if I want to start a new business?

  • Check the business name.  The first step is to confirm that the business name you have selected is acceptable.  You can search for business registered in Berrien County online.  The County Clerk is authorized to reject any assumed name, which is likely to mislead the public, or is similar to other business names as to lead to confusion or deception.  The registering of the name places that name on public record indicating that the registrant(s) is/are conducting business under an assumed name.  A DBA protects a business from possible name duplications by other businesses.
  • Check with the State.  This ensures that the business name is not being used by a corporation, limited liability company (“LLC”), limited liability partnership (“LLP”), or non-profit organization, which is only filed at the state level, State of Michigan Business Entity Search.  It is your responsibility to check at the state level, local telephone books, online and news media to make certain there is no existing business using the name you have chosen.  You can also contact the Corporation Bureau in Lansing at: (517)241-6470.  http://www.michigan.gov/corporations
  • Complete and file the DBA/Co-Partnership form.  Notarization of the certificate is also necessary.  If all owners of a DBA appear in person at the County Clerk’s office with a current valid driver’s license or state-issued ID, we can provide notarization free of charge.   For a Certificate of Co-partnership, all owners must sign the document, but only the main partner must sign in front of the notary.  At the time of filing, you will receive 2 certified copies for a DBA certificate and 3 certified copies for a Co-Partnership certificate. 

Q: How much does it cost to file a DBA or Co-Partnership?

There is a $10.00 filing fee at the time filing.

Q: How long is a DBA/ Co-Partnership registration valid?

Registration is good for 5 years (less one day) and is renewable 30 days prior to expiration. 

Q: Can I change the owner’s name or add another person on to my DBA or Co-Partnership?

In order to change ownership of your DBA or Co-Partnership, you must first dissolve your existing certificate by filing a Certificate of Discontinuance. Then, a new DBA or Co-Partnership can be registered with the desired owners’ names.  The Discontinuance fee is $10.00.

Q: Can I change my business name?

We are not able to make changes to a registered business name.  However, you may dissolve your current name and file a new DBA or Co-Partnership with your desired business name for a $20.00 fee.

Q: Can I change the address and phone number on my DBA or Co-Partnership?

Yes. Simply fill out the Change of Address Amendment Form and file it along with a $5.00 fee, in our office.  Notarization of the Amendment Form is necessary.  If all owners appear in person at the County Clerk’s office with a current valid driver’s license or state-issued ID, we can provide notarization.  

Q: Can I file an LLC, Corporation, or Non-Profit Organization with your office?

No. When registering a Corporation, Limited Partnership, LLC or Non-Profit Organization, contact the State of Michigan Corporation Bureau in Lansing at (517) 241-6470 for more information.


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