Business registrations show decline in 2008

July 6, 2009
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With unemployment in the county climbing over the double-digit mark last year, logic might indicate that more laid-off employees would start their own businesses. But that wasn’t the case, at least during 2008.

In fact, the number of businesses registered with the Kent County Clerk last year was down by 7 percent from 2007.

In 2008, registrations totaled 3,300. Of those, 2,900 were assumed-name filings — more commonly known as DBAs or doing business as — and 400 were partnership filings. The previous year there were 3,550 registrations: 3,100 assumed names and 450 partnerships.

Kent County Clerk Mary Holinrake said filings for partnerships were up for the first quarter of this year from 2008, while assumed-name registrations were down through March.

But Holinrake said not all filings are for new businesses; some are for name changes and renewals. Assumed names and partnerships filed with her office are good for five years. She also said just because someone registers, that doesn’t mean the business actually goes through with its intended purpose.

“Sometimes it’s just someone who just has an idea,” she said.

Holinrake also said not everyone who owns or starts a business registers at the county. Usually it’s only those who want to open a business account with a bank or credit union, which means a company’s name has to be registered first.

Filing a DBA or a partnership is relatively easy. All the information needed, including the simple registration form, is available online at www.accesskent.com. Go to the clerk’s virtual office and click on “business registration.” The filing fee for either an assumed name or a partnership is $10; certified copies cost $2 each.

Registration forms are also available at the Clerk’s office in the county administration building at 300 Monroe Ave. NW.

But before someone fills out a registration form, they should check to see if someone else in the state or county already owns the business name they intend to use. That, too, can be done at the county dlerk’s online site by clicking on the search links and typing in the name.

“There is no law requiring them to do that,” said Holinrake of doing a search. “But we suggest they do.”

Corporations, limited liability corporations, limited liability partnerships and nonprofit organizations must file with the state too. LLCs and LLPs must register with the state before registering with the county.

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