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IDAHO SECRETARY OF STATE
Business Entities

Ben Ysursa, Secretary of State

Assumed Business Names
Frequently Asked Questions

Were Certificates of Assumed Business Name (ABN) previously recorded with a county automatically transferred to the Secretary of State's Office?

No. ABN's previously recorded at the county level were not transferred to the Secretary of State's office.


I have a recorded ABN with the county recorder under the old law, must I file a new Certificate with the Secretary of State?

Yes. Certificates recorded with the county recorder became ineffective on December 31, 1998. Idaho Code Section 53-504 reads "...Any person who proposes to or intends to transact business in Idaho under an assumed business name shall, before beginning to transact business, file with the secretary of state a certificate of assumed business name...."


What is the difference between a DBA and an ABN?

None. The term "DBA" is the abbreviation for "Doing Business As," which is a slang term for "Assumed Business Name" or "Certificate of Assumed Business Name."


How long does an ABN filed with the Secretary of State's office remain effective?

Previously, ABN's required a continuation every five years to stay in effect. Beginning April 2003 ABN filings are perpetual and remain in effect until cancelled by the owner. The change applies retroactively to all ABN's filed with the Secretary of State's office.


What happens if two businesses file certificates for the same ABN?

Both will be accepted. Certificates of Assumed Names are notice filings only. There is no protection for an assumed name against another business entity using the same name.


Can I fax my ABN application to the Secretary of State's Office?

Yes, but payment must accompany the fax, either by credit card payment or use of a prepaid account. The fax number directly to the Business Entity division is (208) 334-2080.


Can a filed ABN be changed or cancelled? If so what is the fee?

Yes, on a Cancellation or Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Business Name form. The name, mailing address, owners names, owners address, type of business can be changed. The fee for an amendment is $10.00. (There is no fee for cancellations.)

Link to ABN forms page

Link to Assumed Business Name Fee Schedule


Must the forms be filed in duplicate?

No, only one original is required.


Must an ABN be filed on a special form?

Yes, The form Application for Certificate of Assumed Business Name is available at the Secretary of State's office, Department of Commerce, print shops, banks, law offices, etc.

Link to ABN forms page


Will Assumed Business Name Information be available on-line?

Yes. ABN filings are a public record and are included in the Secretary of State's on-line search.


Must the ABN filing form be notarized?

No. Notarization is not necessary.


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