Registering A Business

Persons who own, conduct, or transact business in Lapeer County are required by Michigan law to file a certificate (DBA) with the County Clerk's Office.  Persons must file a separate certificate for each individual business name. 

The following entities do not file at the county level:

  • Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Nonprofit Organizations Owned by Corporations

This office will verify if the business name is available at the time of filing.  To ensure the business name you are interested in has not been registered with the state, search the State of Michigan LARA website at  State of Michigan Business Entity Search - LARA.

The County Clerk is authorized to reject any assumed name which is likely to mislead the public or is so closely similar to other business names as to lead to confusion or deception. 

Please note final approval of a business name is the decision of the Lapeer County Clerk. 

There are two types of certificates filed at the county level: an assumed name and a copartnership.

  • An Assumed Name consists of one or more parties. It is more binding since all parties listed must sign the documents in front of a notary public and no changes can be made without the signatures of all parties involved.
  • A Copartnership consists of two or more parties and may be dissolved or changed by the signature of all parties.

Notarization of the form is necessary. This office will provide notarization when filing in person. Make sure to bring your state issued photo identification (i.e. driver's license or Michigan state I.D. card).

Both Assumed Name and Copartnership certificates are legal documents.  The Clerk's Office is prohibited from providing legal or accounting advice to individuals interested in filing certificates.  Please consult your legal or tax experts for such advice.

A person owning, conducting, or transacting a business must be at least 18 years of age.  Each business name is valid for 5 years from the date of filing, subject to renewal.

The DBA Form is available here to print at home, but DO NOT sign it until in the office with a notary present. DBA/ Assumed Name Form


Why do I need to file a DBA (Doing Business as Assumed)?

The law requires that a sole proprietor or co-partners file their business (other than the real name of the person) at the county clerk's office [MCL 445.1].  The law also requires that corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships be filed with the State of Michigan.  Therefore, corporations shall not be filed with county clerks.  The purpose of the law is to place on Public Record who is conducting or transacting business under an assumed name.

Can I use any name I want?
There are a number of regulations that apply when a company is chosen.  The general rules governing names for Corporations, Nonprofit Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Limited Partnerships only apply to those entities.  The Co-partnership Act and Fictitious Name Act require that the name of a sole proprietorship or co-partnership cannot be the same or similar to a name already on file with the county so as to not cause confusion or deception.