DBA in Minnesota

Minnesota is a diverse landscape, so embracing the entrepreneurial journey requires smart decisions. Setting up a business is complex, so choosing the right structure is critical. Getting a Minnesota Doing Business As (DBA) gives you the most flexibility and efficiency, allowing them to succeed.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the advantages and disadvantages of a DBA and Minnesota’s procedural requirements. Discover the complexities of a DBA in Minnesota, unlock the possibilities, and ignite the entrepreneur in you.


What is DBA?


What are the advantages of a DBA?


What are the disadvantages of a DBA?

DBA Formation

What are the steps to starting a DBA?


What is the cost of forming a DBA?


Should you choose DBA after all?


What Is a DBA?

A DBA is just a fictitious name under which someone or something operates. DBAs are also known as trade names or assumed names, and it lets you use a name other than your legal name. With a DBA, you can build a brand that resonates with your target audience and captures the essence of your business.

Adopting a DBA in Minnesota primarily aims to create a compelling and marketable brand identity. It offers you the flexibility to choose a name that reflects your business’s values, vision, and unique selling proposition. With a DBA, you can craft a captivating brand image that engages customers and sets you apart.

DBAs also allow you to expand your business without setting up separate legal entities for each venture. Under a single business umbrella, you can launch multiple products eliminating the complexities setting up separate companies.

It’s important to note that a DBA differs from a formal business entity, such as a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC) in Minnesota. Unlike these entities, a DBA does not create a separate legal entity distinct from the individual or the business owner. Instead, it serves as an additional name that the business operates under while maintaining the legal identity of the owner or the entity.

DBAs give you the benefit of conducting business under a unique name without the legal complexities of forming your own company. By simplifying things, you can focus on building your brand and serving your customers while staying in control of your legal identity.


What Are The Advantages Of A DBA In Minnesota?

Entrepreneurs looking to establish in Minnesota’s business scene can benefit from choosing a DBA. Here are some of the benefits of using a DBA:

Flexibility and simplicity in business operations

One of the primary advantages of opting for a DBA is the inherent flexibility and simplicity it brings to your business operations. Unlike formal business entities, which often involve complex legal requirements and ongoing compliance obligations, a DBA allows you to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape easily.

The DBA lets you start using your business name quickly and efficiently without wasting time on paperwork. Your time and resources will be freed up, so you can focus on what matters most – growing your business.

Cost-effectiveness compared to forming a formal business entity

Regarding cost-effectiveness, a DBA shines as a budget-friendly option for entrepreneurs in Minnesota. Forming a formal business entity, such as a corporation or an LLC, often incurs significant expenses, including filing fees, legal fees, and ongoing compliance costs.

In contrast, obtaining a DBA involves minimal financial investment. The registration fees for a DBA in Minnesota are typically lower than establishing a formal entity. This affordability allows you to strategically allocate your financial resources towards marketing initiatives, product development, or other critical aspects of your business.

Ability to operate under a desired business name

Your business name is pivotal in attracting customers and establishing a solid brand presence. With a DBA, you can operate under a name that resonates with your target audience and encapsulates your business’s essence.

With a DBA, you can give your service a memorable name whether you’re launching, expanding, or rebranding.  Your business name gives you the power to a compelling brand identity that fosters customer recognition and loyalty.

Minnesota’s Twin Cities Brewing Company exemplifies how a DBA can help businesses establish a brand and capture the essence of their business under a desired business name.

The brewery was originally registered as Minnesota Brewing Company LLC, but rebranded to create a stronger connection with locals. They chose a DBA, “Twin Cities Brewing Company,” that reflected their location and resonated with their customers.

Its DBA established a distinct brand identity that captured its commitment to crafting high-quality craft beers inspired by the Twin Cities’ vibrant culture. As a result of the name change, their business aligned itself more closely with the local community and created a recognizable and memorable brand.

Under the DBA, Twin Cities Brewing Company enjoyed the freedom to market its products and engage customers with a brand name that evoked a sense of pride and local connection. The ability to operate under a desired business name enabled them to cultivate a strong market presence and foster a loyal customer base.

With their redefined identity and the flexibility provided by the DBA, Twin Cities Brewing Company expanded their product offerings, introduced seasonal brews, and collaborated with local artists and organizations to create unique experiences for their customers. This creative growth and adaptability were made possible by the seamless integration of their desired business name through the DBA framework.


What Are The Disadvantages Of A DBA In Minnesota?

Although DBAs have plenty of benefits, they also have some drawbacks. Entrepreneurs should carefully evaluate these aspects to make informed decisions about DBAs in Minnesota.

No legal separation between the business and its owner

One notable disadvantage of operating under a DBA is that it does not establish a legal separation between the business and its owner. Unlike formal business entities such as corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs), a DBA does not create a distinct legal entity.

As a result, the owner remains personally liable for any debts, liabilities, or legal obligations incurred by the business. In the event of a lawsuit or financial difficulties, personal assets could be at risk. Understanding and managing this potential risk is crucial by considering alternative business structures that offer greater personal liability protection.

Limited liability protection

In contrast to formal business entities that often provide limited liability protection to their owners, a DBA does not offer the same level of personal asset protection. In the event of legal claims or debts, the owner’s assets may be at risk, potentially jeopardizing their financial security.

To mitigate this risk, entrepreneurs may opt for establishing a formal business entity, such as an LLC or a corporation, which provides a separate legal structure and limited liability protection. Consulting with a legal professional can help determine the most suitable business structure based on individual circumstances.

Potential challenges in obtaining financing or entering into contracts

Operating under a DBA may present challenges when seeking financing or entering into contracts. Financial institutions and potential partners may prefer to work with businesses that have established formal legal entities rather than those operating solely under a DBA.

Additionally, some vendors or clients may perceive a DBA as less credible or professional than a formally registered business entity. This perception may impact business opportunities and relationships.

Entrepreneurs considering a DBA should be prepared to address potential concerns by demonstrating the stability and legitimacy of their operations through solid business plans, financial records, and professional credibility.

While a DBA offers flexibility and simplicity, entrepreneurs must weigh these advantages against the potential disadvantages. It is crucial to evaluate personal liability risks, consider the level of liability protection desired, and anticipate any challenges in financing or contract negotiations.

DBA Formation

How To Get A DBA In Minnesota

If you’re ready to establish your desired business identity through a DBA in Minnesota, the following step-by-step guide will walk you through the process. To help you get started, this section provides a comprehensive overview of everything you need.

Choose a unique and memorable DBA name

Select a name that accurately represents your business and is distinguishable from existing businesses in Minnesota. Ensure it complies with state regulations and is not misleading or deceptive.

Conduct a name search

Before proceeding, conduct a thorough name search to confirm that your chosen DBA name is available and not already used by another Minnesota entity. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s website provides an online database to facilitate this search.

Complete the registration forms

Obtain the appropriate registration forms from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website or office. Fill out the forms accurately, providing all requested information, including your desired DBA name, the business owner’s details, and the nature of your business.

File the registration forms

Submit the completed registration forms to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. Depending on available options, you can file the forms online, by mail, or in person. Ensure you include any required fees with your submission.

Publish a notice

In some cases, Minnesota requires businesses to publish a notice of their DBA registration in a designated newspaper within the county of their principal place of business. Check with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office to determine if this requirement applies to your situation.

Required documents and fees

When registering a DBA in Minnesota, you will typically need the following documents and information:

  • Completed DBA registration forms
  • Payment of the required registration fees
  • Business owner’s details, including name, address, and contact information
  • Desired DBA name and a brief description of your business activities

Tips for choosing a unique and memorable DBA

When selecting a DBA name for your business in Minnesota, consider the following tips:

Conduct thorough research

Before finalizing your DBA name, conduct thorough research to ensure its uniqueness and availability. To avoid potential conflicts, check the Minnesota Secretary of State’s database, online directories, and trademark databases.

Reflect your brand identity

Choose a name that aligns with your brand identity, values, and target market. Consider how the name will resonate with your customers and convey the essence of your products or services.

Be memorable and distinctive

Aim for a DBA name that is memorable, easy to pronounce, and distinctive within your industry. A unique name can help differentiate your business and make a lasting impression on potential customers.

Consider future growth and expansion

While selecting a DBA, remember your long-term business goals and potential for growth. Choose a name that allows flexibility and accommodates future expansion into new products, services, or geographic areas.


How Much Is A DBA In Minnesota?

You should know how much it costs to register a DBA in Minnesota. Here’s what you can expect when getting a DBA and other expenses to consider.

Filing fee

The filing fee for a DBA in Minnesota depends on the method of filing. Here are the current filing fees:

Online filing

If you file your DBA online, the filing fee is $50. The online filing offers convenience and a streamlined process.

Mail filing

If you prefer to file your DBA by mail, the filing fee is $30. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions for mailing your documents to the appropriate address.

In-person filing

If you file your DBA in person at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, the filing fee is $30. This option allows for face-to-face assistance and immediate submission.

Expedited services

If you need expedited processing of your DBA registration, you can pay an additional $20 fee. This expedited service ensures that your application receives priority processing, reducing the waiting time for your DBA approval.

Publication fee

If your DBA registration requires publishing a notice in a designated newspaper, additional costs will be incurred for the publication. The fees associated with this requirement vary depending on the newspaper and location.


This article has provided you, as an entrepreneur starting a business in Minnesota, with valuable insights and guidance regarding Doing Business As (DBA) registration. We have defined a DBA and explained its purpose as a means to operate under a desired name without forming a formal business entity. Throughout the discussion, we highlighted the advantages a DBA in Minnesota can offer you.

One key advantage is the flexibility and simplicity it provides for your business operations. With a DBA, you have the freedom to conduct your business activities under a chosen name, allowing you to establish a unique brand identity. Additionally, opting for a DBA can be cost-effective compared to forming a formal business entity, as it typically involves lower registration fees and fewer ongoing compliance requirements.

However, it is also crucial to consider the potential disadvantages of a DBA. Firstly, there is no legal separation between you and your business, which means your assets may be at risk in case of any liabilities. Moreover, the limited liability protection that comes with formal business entities may not apply to a DBA. Additionally, you may need help obtaining financing or entering into contracts, as some lenders or business partners may prefer working with registered entities.

To help you navigate the process of obtaining a DBA in Minnesota, we have provided a step-by-step guide tailored to your needs. This includes the necessary documents and fees required for registration. We have also offered tips on choosing a unique and memorable DBA name, which can contribute to your brand recognition and customer appeal.

In terms of costs, it’s important to note that the filing fee for a DBA in Minnesota is $50 when filing online, $30 when filing by mail, and $30 for in-person filing. If you require expedited services for faster processing, an additional $20 fee can be paid. It is always recommended to check the official website of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office for the most up-to-date information on fees and requirements.

We encourage you to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a DBA when starting your business in Minnesota. By considering a DBA’s flexibility, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness, along with the associated limitations, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your specific business goals. Best of luck on your entrepreneurial journey in Minnesota!