Updated November 5, 2020:

You can use the Missouri fictitious name search to register a fictitious name for your business. You can also renew, amend, or correct your fictitious name.

Missouri fictitious name registration doesn't provide protection because it is only used for dealing with the public. Fictitious name filings expire five years after the name is registered. Registering a fictitious name will not change the way your company is taxed.

Fictitious names are also called Doing Business As (DBA) names.

Missouri Fictitious Name Registration

You can apply for Missouri fictitious name registration online or on paper. The Corporation Division branch of the Department of State will take paper applications, which you can print off here.

You must contact the Missouri Secretary of State to set up an official name for your company or organization.

The original name of a sole proprietorship or partnership is the actual name of the individual or partners. The secondary name is another legal name that does not replace the original name.

If you are filing a secondary, or fictitious, name for a business follow these steps:

  • Write the business name.
  • Write how much is owned in a percentage.
  • State whether the members are jointly or severally liable.

You can apply or renew online, in person, or by mail. The state fee for renewal is $7.

Any business that wants to operate under a secondary name needs to register for a fictitious name, but not at the county level. Companies use fictitious names if they want to use different names in different states or they don't want to be confused with another business.

Reasons for Registering a Fictitious Name

Besides the legal obligation, there are other practical reasons to register a fictitious name.

It may allow for a business to open a bank account under the fictitious name instead of the original name.

Also, once you are able to show that your fictitious name is registered, it will allow other businesses and individuals to know you are legitimate.

Searching for Your Fictitious Name

A search for your fictitious name in the Missouri database is not legally required, but there are multiple reasons to do it.

You can avoid using the same name as another business and avoid liability, like trademark infringement or deceptive practices. You will also stand out from competitors if your name is unique.

Changing or Amending Your Fictitious Name

Fictitious names can be changed easily by contacting the relevant office of the state government and filling out a form.

Before you change your name, be sure it is not taken by searching the Missouri Secretary of State's fictitious name database.

You'll need to download the Missouri Registration of Fictitious Name Form (Corp. 56). If you can't download it, you can call the Corporations Division of the Secretary of State and request the form in the mail. You can use the form to register, renew, amend, or correct your fictitious name.

To amend your name:

  • Check the box next to the word “Amendment.”
  • Write your fictitious name registration number next to it.
  • Fill in your new business name and address in the provided box.
  • Write in the names of every owner and the charter number (if you have it).
  • Add addresses and percentage of ownership for each individual.
  • Sign and print your name and the date.
  • Put in the address you want the document sent to after it is confirmed.
  • Finally, have the form notarized by an authorized individual to make it official.
  • Include a check for the amount of the Corp. 56 filing fee.

You should receive the form back from the Corporations Division in a few weeks.

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