An “assumed name” or “trade name” is a name other than a business’s legal name that the business uses. Typically, this means that the legal name of the business is not the same name it uses in its advertising. For example, if a business with the legal name “Acme Inc.” uses the name “Acme Emporium” for its retail location, then “Acme Emporium” is an assumed name.
In Michigan, ANY name other than the business’s legal name is considered an assumed name. This is interpreted quite strictly to mean that even an entity’s legal name without its corporate identifier is an assumed name. Continuing the Acme Inc. example, if the corporation advertises itself as “Acme” without the “Inc.”, it should file a Certificate of Assumed Name for “Acme”.
Incorporated entities using an assumed name should file a Certificate of Assumed name, while unincorporated businesses will need to file a Certificate – Conducting Business Under an Assumed Name.
See also: DBA, Certificate of Assumed Name, Certificate – Conducting Business Under an Assumed Name