Business Trade Name

Effective January 1, 2020, assumed or fictitious name certificates will no longer be filed in the Clerk's Office.  Please contact the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission regarding all business trade names.

Pursuant to §59.1-70.1, when a person is no longer conducting business in the Commonwealth under an assumed or fictitious name that is on file with a circuit court, the name may be released by filing a certificate of release with the clerk of court. The certificate of release of an assumed or fictitious name shall be on a form prescribed by the Commission.  FORM:  Certificate of Release of Assumed or Fictitious Name on File in a Circuit Court

A fictitious trade name is required if a business is conducted in Virginia under a name other than the owner's legal name. An assumed or fictitious name certificate must be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in each county or city where business is to be conducted. No person, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation may conduct or transact business in the Commonwealth under any assumed or fictitious name until they file a certificate in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county or city in which their business is conducted pursuant to §59.1-69 of the Code of Virginia.

Businesses registered with the State Corporation Commission may file a trade name at the local level if they are conducting business under a different name other than the name that is registered with the State Corporation Commission. 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. The types of businesses registered with the State Corporation Commission are General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Foreign Limited Partnership, Corporation, or Limited Liability Company.

You are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney concerning the protection of your business trade name. A trade name filed at the local level does not have the same status as one filed with the State Corporation Commission.

Businesses registered with a foreign State Corporation Commission must register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond as a foreign corporation before registering a trading name on the county level. All persons that register a trade name who do not reside in the Commonwealth are required to provide the name, address, and phone number of a Virginia registered agent for the purpose of service of process.

To avoid duplication of a business name it is recommended that the owner review the Assumed Name index in the Clerk's Record Room. The Clerk’s Office does not check business names for duplicates when recording.

Important sites and numbers for new business in Virginia.

Instructions For Filing Forms

Signature(s) must be notarized or can be signed in person before a deputy clerk at the Clerk's Office with a proper government-issued photo ID.

The Filing Fee is $10. We accept cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, and Discover - a 4% convenience fee will be assessed for each transaction). Checks can be made payable to the Clerk of Court. To request a certified copy, include $2.50 per copy.

The form can be filed in person at the Circuit Court Clerk's Office or mailed with payment and SASE to
Madison County Circuit Court
PO Box 220
Madison, VA  22727