The process for conducting a Doing Business As name search varies between states and counties, with most offering an online tool to locate the appropriate records according to the name itself, the name of the business' owner or other identifying information about the entity. Some areas also support in-person searches at a county clerk or similar agency office.
A company operating under a name different than the one that appears on its articles of incorporation, or the name of the owner in the case of a sole proprietorship, must register a Doing Business As name, also known as a fictitious business name or assumed business name, with the appropriate entity for the county or state in which it operates. Each area includes its own requirements for registration, which typically involves submitting a form that documents that business' new name and the details of its owner along with a registration fee. The office monitoring the names then keeps records of the name and makes them available to the public upon requests.
Many governmental agencies, such as a county clerk or registrar, offer online search tools to locate business names through their websites. These tools may support searches under various criteria relating to the company or the entity that owns it, with options varying according to the information that the entity requires on the registration forms. The Doing Business As page for these entities may also list the instructions for conducting searching at local offices or through other means, such as mailing in a search request form.