Jason VanderStelt
County Clerk
  • 1087 Newell St, PO Box 885
    White Cloud, MI 49349
    M-F 8am-5pm
  • (231) 689-7235
    (231) 689-7241

MCL 445.1 requires that a sole proprietor or co-partnership file the business name (if different than the real name of the person) at the county clerk’s office. Filing the business name allows the public or anyone dealing with the business to find out who owns the business.

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 the county clerks.

Visit the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, Commercial Services and Corporations, Corporation Division web site or call (517) 241-6470 for information

A DBA filing must be done in each county in which you will be doing business.

Filing your business name does NOT create substantive rights to the use of that name. This is the same whether it is a corporate name, limited liability company name, limited partnership name, sole proprietorship name, or co-partnership name. There are a number of regulations that apply when a company name is chosen. The general rules governing names for corporations, nonprofit corporation, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships only apply to those entities. The Co-Partnership Act and Fictitious Name Act (1907 PA 101) requires 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 cause confusion or deception.

A person who is at least 18 years of age is an adult of legal age for purposes of signing contracts.

  • $10.00 Filing Fee
  • Valid for 5 years
  • Application may be made by mail or in person. Signatures must be notarized at time of signing.
  • It is the responsibility of the County Clerk to accept or reject a proposed business name for filing.
  • Certified copies are available for a $2.00 fee.

“Guide to Starting a Small Business”, compiled by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, are available online from the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center web site.

Business Registration forms are available from the Michigan Department of Treasury web site.

A “Notice of Discontinuance of Operation of Assumed Name of Partnership Certificate” must be filed when a business has been discontinued and is no longer engaged in business in the county. Filing Fee – $10.00