FAQs

No. The trade name registration protects the name in North Dakota only.

No. The registrant bears responsibility for any infringement on a federal registration. The Secretary of State may file a trade name registration as long as the proposed trade name is not the same as or deceptively similar to:

  • Any other trade name;
  • Domestic or foreign corporation name;
  • Domestic or foreign limited liability company name;
  • Domestic or foreign limited partnership name;
  • Domestic or foreign limited liability partnership name;
  • Domestic or foreign limited liability limited partnership name; or
  • A name the right to which is in any manner reserved or registered with the Secretary of State unless the registration is accompanied by written consent to use of name of the holder of the similar name, or if a franchise, a written consent from the franchiser.

Yes, if the domain name is not the same as or deceptively similar to any business name already in some manner registered with the Secretary of State. Therefore, ownership of a domain name is not a guarantee that the domain name can be the business name.

Yes. The trade name registration has a five-year registration period. Ninety days prior to the expiration thereof, the Secretary of State mails a renewal application to the registrant at the last recorded address. To insure timely delivery of the renewal application, the registrant must inform the Secretary of State of any addresses changes that occur during the five-year registration period.

Trade name registrants are advised to seek legal counsel in the event of a name conflict. The Office of the Secretary of State is a filing agency and is not authorized to resolve legal matters involving trade name conflicts.

NDCC, Section 47-25-01, Subsection 2 states:

"2. A person or organization that has registered a trade name under this section may institute a civil suit prohibiting any other person from using the name."

Since the Secretary of State will not allow the registration of a business name that is the same as or deceptively similar to a registered trade name or any other registered name, it's likely that the business using your trade name is not in any manner registered with the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State may accept the registration if:

  • Trade name registration is accompanied by a written consent to use of name signed by the owner of every conflicting name with $10 for each consent;
  • Trade name registration is accompanied by a consent of the franchiser if the proposed name is intended for a franchisee; or
  • Trade name registration reflects an alternate name that is available.

Since the name cannot be changed on the trade name registration, the registrant must file a "new" trade name registration and cancel the "old" one.

The Secretary of State does not prescribe a form for the purpose of trade name cancellation. The registrant must draft a request to cancel the trade name. This request must be:

  • Signed by the registrant;
  • Accompanied by a filing fee of $10; and
  • Submitted to the Secretary of State.

Yes, however, a general partnership using a "fictitious name" is required by law to file a partnership fictitious name certificate with the Secretary of State. The partnership fictitious name certificate is a filing very similar to the trade name registration. Therefore, the Secretary of State will file a trade name registration for a partnership after the partnership fictitious name certificate is satisfied.