No person, partnership, limited liability company or corporation shall conduct or transact business in the Commonwealth under any assumed or fictitious name, until they file a certificate in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in the county or city in which their business is conducted, pursuant to VA Code Section 59.1-69. A fictitious trade name is required if a business is conducted in Virginia under a name other than the owner’s legal name. An assumed or fictitious name certificate must be filed in the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in each county or city where business is to be conducted.
Businesses registered with the State Corporation Commission may file a Trade Name at the local level if it is conducting business under a different name other than the name that is registered with the State Corporation Commission. If you are conducting business under the name registered with the State Corporation Commission, you are not required to file a trade name on the county level. The types of businesses registered with the State Corporation Commission are corporations, limited liability companies, general partnerships, limited partnerships, and foreign limited partnerships.
Businesses registered with the Foreign State Corporation Commission must register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond as a foreign corporation before registering a trade name on the county level. All persons who register a trade name who do not reside in the Commonwealth are required to provide the name, address and phone number of a Virginia registered agent for purposes of service of process.
To avoid duplication of a trade name, it is recommended that the owner review the General Miscellaneous Index in the Record Room for names already recorded. The index may be researched on the public computer terminals in the Circuit Court Record Room.
How to Register an Assumed or Fictitious Name:
- The Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name must be signed by the owner or owners of the business before the notary or deputy clerk.
- A certificate of registration of a partnership must be signed by all of the partners.
- A certificate for registration for a business registered with the State Corporation Commission must be signed by an officer of the Corporation, Limited Liability Company, General Partnership, or Limited Partnership.
- The cost to file an Assumed or Fictitious Name is $10.00. Cash, certified check, money order, or business checks are acceptable forms of payment. Checks should be payable to the Clerk of Court. Please include your telephone number on your check or money order.
- There is an additional fee of $0.50 per page and an extra $2.00 for a certified copy.
- If you file by mail, you must enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of your copy or certified copy of your registered trade name.
Mail completed forms, payment, and return envelope to:
Henrico Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
P.O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775
As of January 1, 2020, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 59.1-69, certificate of assumed or fictitious names shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission.
Dissolution of a Business Name:
For a dissolution of a business name, please complete the attached form, specifying whether it is a dissolution of a business for an individual or partnership, or a dissolution of a corporation, general partnership, limited partnership, or limited liability company.
Certificate of Dissolution of a Business Name (.pdf)
Useful Names and Contact Information for New Businesses in Virginia:
– The Virginia State Corporation Commission: 1-804-371-9733, www.scc.virginia.gov 1300 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219
– Henrico County Finance Department (Business licenses): 1-804-501-4310 www.henrico.us Henrico Government Complex room 136, 4301 E. Parham Road, Henrico, VA 23273
– Virginia Department of Taxation: 1-804-367-8031, www.tax.virginia.gov 1957 Westmoreland Street, Richmond, VA 23230
– Internal Revenue Service: 1-800-829-1040, www.irs.ustreas.gov, 400 North 8th Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Disclaimer: Please note that this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.