The filing of a Trade Name Certificate, also known as a "DBA" certificate, is required by the Connecticut General Statutes Section 35-1. Any person conducting business under any assumed/fictitious name (a name that is not the name of the person running the business) shall file a Trade name certificate in the town in which they are doing business. All people who are authorized to sign on behalf of the business must sign their name on the trade name certificate. A Trade Name Certificate does not protect that name from use by someone else. The penalty for failure to file a Trade Name Certificate is $500.00.
Forms can be filed for opening a business, terminating/dissolving a business, or changing the address of the business. All certifications are stored in permanent electronic and hard copy files.
Please note, the trade name filing (with the Town Clerk) does not apply to:
- Partnerships: if the partnership name includes the true last name of at least one of the persons composing the said partnership.
- Limited Partnerships or Limited Liability Companies, which have registered with the Secretary of the State (CGS 35-1) For more information please contact the Town Clerk's Office.
Fee for filing a Trade Name Certificate which has already been signed and notarized is $11.00 which includes a copy to be mailed back to you.
For additional state licensing and registration information, The Business Start Up Tool from the Connecticut Secretary of State's office can help you get your business off on the right foot. Secretary of State link
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Sec. 35-1. Use of fictitious business names. Prohibitions and exceptions. Penalty. Unfair trade practices. (a) No person, except as provided in this subsection, shall conduct or transact business in this state, under any assumed name, or under any designation, name or style, corporate or otherwise, other than the real name or names of the person or persons conducting or transacting such business, unless there has been filed, in the office of the town clerk in the town in which such business is or is to be conducted or transacted, a certificate stating the name under which such business is or is to be conducted or transacted and the full name and post-office address of each person conducting or transacting such business or, in the case of a corporation or limited liability company using such an assumed name, its full name and principal post-office address. Such certificate shall be executed by all of such persons or, in the case of a corporation or limited liability company, by an authorized officer thereof, and acknowledged before an authority qualified to administer oaths. Each town clerk shall keep an alphabetical index of the names of all persons filing such certificates and of all names or styles assumed as provided in this subsection and, for the indexing and filing of each such certificate, shall receive the statutory filing fee for documents established in section 7- 34a, to be paid by the person filing such certificate. A copy of any such certificate, certified by the town clerk in whose office the same has been filed, shall be presumptive evidence, in all courts in this state, of the facts contained in such certificate. The provisions of this subsection shall not prevent the lawful use of a partnership name or designation if such partnership name or designation includes the true surname of at least one of the persons composing such partnership. This subsection shall not apply to: (1) Any limited partnership, as defined in section 34-9, provided such limited partnership (A) has (i) filed a certificate as provided for in section 34-10, or (ii) registered with the Secretary of the State as provided in section 34-38g and (B) conducts or transacts business under the name stated in the certificate or registered with the Secretary of the State, or (2) any limited liability company, as defined in section 34-101, provided such limited liability company (A) has (i) filed articles of organization as provided for in section 34- 120, or (ii) registered with the Secretary of the State as provided in section 34-223 and (B) conducts or transacts business under the name stated in the articles of organization or registered with the Secretary of the State. Any person conducting or transacting business in violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year. Failure to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be deemed to be an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b. ?(b) No person shall use, in any printed advertisement, an assumed or fictitious name for the conduct of such person's business that includes the name of any municipality in this state in such a manner as to suggest that such person's business is located in such municipality unless: (1) Such person's business is, in fact, located in such municipality; or (2) such person includes in any such printed advertisement the complete street address of the location from which such person's business is actually conducted, including the city or town and, if located outside of Connecticut, the state in which such person's business is located. This subsection shall not apply to the use of (A) any trademark or service mark registered under the laws of this state or under federal law, (B) any such name that, when applied to the goods or services of such person's business, is merely descriptive of them, or (C) any such name that is merely a surname. A violation of the provisions of this subsection by a person conducting business under an assumed or fictitious name that includes the name of a municipality in this state shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to impose any liability on any publisher that relies on the written assurances of a person placing such printed advertisement that such person has authority to use any such assumed or fictitious name.