Pursuant to Session Law 2019-117 (Senate Bill 594), 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 law requires individuals, limited and general partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, and other persons that engage in business in this state under an assumed name to file a certificate with a register of deeds in a county in which the person or entity will be engaging in business.
EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 2017, certificates must comply with content and execution requirements specified in the statutes for a certificate of assumed business name. The requirements are different than they were for a certificate of assumed name recorded under prior law. You can review the new law requirements by going to the N.C Session Laws 2016-100 and 2017-23 (codified at Article 14A of Chapter 66 of the N.C. General Statutes)
Amendments to and withdrawals of certificates of assumed business names also must comply with new content and execution requirements.
Certificates of assumed business names, amendments and withdrawals will be transmitted into a statewide, central database maintained by the N.C. Secretary of State, which will be available for searches by the public. A single registration can be effective for multiple counties. The Secretary of State will maintain a website for this purpose at www.sosnc.gov/abn/search
The Secretary of State will assign an identification number (SOS ID) to each assumed business name that is recorded, to which amendments and withdrawals must refer.
Compliant blank forms are available for download from Business Link North Carolina at Business Link – North Carolina or the Secretary of State website at North Carolina Secretary of State. Additional resources are available North Carolina Department of Commerce website. The Register of Deeds provides this information as a courtesy and will not be held liable for any errors on the Assumed Name Registration forms or for any damages in connection with the use of the forms.
Certificates of assumed names filed under the prior law will EXPIRE DECEMBER 1, 2022. Someone desiring to engage in business in N.C. under the assumed name after that date must file an assumed business name certificate in the new form.
Register of Deeds Office Role
The Register of Deeds office cannot provide legal advice such as what structure your business should take, what forms may need to be filed or how to complete each form.
The fee for recording your Assumed Name Registration form is $26.00.
If you have further questions about filing an Assumed Name please contact the Register of Deeds office at 910-798-7711.