Do I have to refile my assumed named certificate?

QUESTION: My brokerage company does business under an assumed name.  Many years ago, I filed an assumed name certificate in the register of deeds’ office in the county where my business is located.  I heard the other day that because of a change in the law, my assumed name certificate is no longer any good and that I have to file a new one.  Is that right?  If so, where do I file it?  I do business in several surrounding counties.

ANSWER: Effective December 1, 2017, the NC General Assembly revised the assumed business name laws, primarily so that all assumed business name filings filed in each register of deeds’ office will be compiled into a statewide centralized online searchable database at the NC Secretary of State’s office. An assumed business name certificate is required for the registration of any business name used by an individual or business entity other than the individual or business entity’s legal name.

Your existing assumed name certificate is still good; however, you—and anybody else who filed an assumed name certificate before December 1, 2017—must file a new certificate no later than December 1, 2022 in order to keep your assumed business name filing effective.

When you file the new certificate, you will need to identify the counties where your assumed business name will be used to engage in business, or you can check a box indicating “All 100 Counties” rather than listing counties separately.  You can file the new certificate in your local register of deeds’ office.  The certificate will be recorded and indexed in that county, and it will also be uploaded to the new statewide database mentioned above.  The filing fee is not affected by how many counties in which you indicate you will operate.

An “Assumed Name Business Certificate” form is available on the Secretary of State’s website by clicking here, and a helpful FAQ is available by clicking here.  Any individual or business entity filing an assumed name certificate on or after December 1, 2017 must use the new form in order to include all of the information that must be provided by law.

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