How To Register a Fictitious Name (DBA) in Virginia

If you market your business or trade under a name in Virginia that is different than the name of your entity (corporation, LLC, etc.), Virginia law requires that you register that name as a “fictitious name.” A fictitious name is commonly referred to as a “doing business as” or “DBA” name. 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.

Inside your client account, you can hire us to submit your Virginia DBA filing for you. Prefer to file yourself?The fictitious name registration process involves a few steps:

  1. Your entity (corporation or LLC) must first be registered in Virginia with the State Corporation Commission. This means you have either already formed your LLC or corporation or, if you have an out of state company, that you have received your Certificate of Authority or Certificate of Registration.
  2. The second step is to fill out and complete a “Certificate of Fictitious Name” form that you may obtain here: This form is designed to be used by many different types of entity so you will only fill out the sections that pertain to your specific form of entity (corporation, LLC, etc.). The form must be signed by an owner of your business before a Notary Public.

Once signed and notarized, this form should be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the Virginia county or city in which you will be using your fictitious name. With your filing you must include a check for $10.00 payable to “Clerk of the Court” and a self-addressed, stamped envelope and request that the Clerk of the Circuit Court send you an “attested copy” of the filed form so that you can handle step 3 below. An “attested copy” of the form is simply a certified copy of the form that you have just filed that proves your Certificate of Fictitious Name was approved by the Court.

  1. The third step is to mail the attested copy of the form that you will receive back from the Court by mail to the Clerk’s Office of the Virginia State Corporation Commission for filing along with the filing fee of $10.00. payable to “State Corporation Commission.” The mailing address for the State Corporation Commission is: Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, PO Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218-1197. You will know that you are sending the “attested copy” of the form if it has a stamp on the body of the Certificate (usually at the bottom) that starts with the words “A Copy Teste…”
  2. The State Corporation Commission will send you a receipt for your records, which you should keep with your company records for future reference.

It is a good idea to check the individual Circuit Court web page for the Court in which you plan to file because some localities have slightly different rules and procedures for filing Certificates of Fictitious Name. Information for each Circuit Court, including mailing address and phone number, can be found here: