Business Entities – Assumed Business Names FAQ

  1. Were Certificates of Assumed Business Name (ABN) previously recorded with a county automatically transferred to the
    Secretary of State‘s Office?

    No. ABN‘s previously recorded at the county level were not transferred to the Secretary of State‘s

  2. I have a recorded ABN with the county recorder under the old law, must I file a new Certificate with the Secretary of

    Yes. Certificates recorded with the county recorder became ineffective on December 31, 1998. Idaho Code § 53-504 reads
    “…Any person who proposes to or intends to transact business in Idaho under an assumed business name shall, before
    beginning to transact business, file with the secretary of state a certificate of assumed business name….”

  3. What is the difference between a DBA and an ABN?

    None. The term “DBA” is the abbreviation for “Doing Business As”, which is a slang term for “Assumed Business
    Name” or “Certificate of Assumed Business Name”.

  4. How long does an ABN filed with the Secretary of State‘s office remain effective?

    Previously, ABN‘s required a continuation every five years to stay in effect. Beginning April 2003 ABN filings are
    perpetual and remain in effect until cancelled by the owner. The change applies retroactively to all ABN‘s filed with the
    Secretary of State‘s office.

  5. What happens if two businesses file certificates for the same ABN?

    Both will be accepted. Certificates of Assumed Names are notice filings only. There is no protection for an assumed name
    against another business entity using the same name.

  6. Can I fax my ABN application to the Secretary of State‘s Office?


  7. Can a filed ABN be changed or cancelled? If so what is the fee?

    Yes, on a Cancellation or Amendment of Certificate of Assumed Business Name form. The name, mailing address, owners names,
    owners address, type of business can be changed. The fee for an amendment is $10.00. (There is no fee for cancellations.)

    Click here to file online.

  8. Must the forms be filed in duplicate?

    No, only one original is required.

  9. Must an ABN be filed on a special form?

    Yes, The form Application for Certificate of Assumed Business Name is available at the Secretary of State‘s office,
    Department of Commerce, print shops, banks, law offices, etc.

    Click here to file online.

  10. Will Assumed Business Name Information be available on-line?

    Yes. ABN filings are a public record and are included in the Secretary of State‘s
    on-line search.

  11. Must the ABN filing form be notarized?

    No. Notarization is not necessary.

System Upgrade In Progress

Campaign Finance, Lobbyist Reporting, and Online Voter Tools are expected to be offline from April 9th at 5:00 p.m. MDT, through April 12th at 8:00 a.m. MDT to complete a system upgrade.

Per Idaho Code 67-6607, campaign finance is reported monthly during a campaign’s election year. The deadline for the March report falls on Saturday, April 10th. Due to the interruption caused by this upgrade, political treasurers will be allowed to file the March report until 11:59 p.m. MDT on Monday, April 12th.

While we do our best to ensure compliance with all deadlines in statute, the timing of this release is critical to ensure minimal (or no) impact to the May election cycle. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.