North Carolina law dictates that most types of businesses file with the Register of Deeds in the county where they will operate a document that files or puts on record a business name of an individual, partnership, or corporation other than its own name is referred to as Doing Business As, DBA, or Assumed Name.
NC General Statute § 66-68 requires that "before any person or partnership engages in business in any county in this State under an assumed name or under any designation, name or style other than the real name of the owner or owners thereof, before any limited partnership engaged in business in any county in this State other than under the name set out in the Certificate filed with the Office of the Secretary of State or before a corporation engages in business in any county other than under its corporate name, such person, partnership, limited partnership, or corporation must file in the office of the register of deeds of such county a certificate...".
The Register of Deeds handles filings for sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations (doing business under an assumed name), and limited liability companies (LLCs) doing business under an assumed name.
Before filing the "doing business as" (dba) or assumed name certificate, you should perform a name search to determine if the proposed business name has already been filed. The Register of Deeds Office cannot perform the name search for you but is happy to assist you with the name search.
If you wish to incorporate your business, please visit the Secretary of State's web site at: http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/Corporations for more information or call (919) 807-2225.
Assumed Name Certificate of Ownership (Letter - PDF)