The state of Texas requires any business operating under a name other than its legal name to file an assumed name certificate with the Secretary of State as well as the county clerk. The assumed name certificate serves as a public notice only. It doesn't authorize a company to do business under the name if there is a conflict with another business that previously registered the name. Copies of the certificate are readily available to the business owners or officers on application to the county clerk.

Filing the Original

The original assumed name certificate is a short form, usually a single page, that declares the fictional or registered name under which a company is doing business. A business owner completes the form with basic information about the company, including the type of business it is. The form also requires information on the registered agent, if the business has one. The form is signed by the business owner or an officer, and the signature is notarized or witnessed by the county clerk. Assumed name certificates are required in each county where the business will be conducting operations, and must also be filed with the Texas Secretary of State.

Obtaining Copies in Person

Under state law, assumed name certificates are valid for 10 years from the date of filing. If a business requires a duplicate of the original assumed name certificate, copies are available by applying in person at the office of the county clerk where the certificate was originally filed. The fee for the replacement varies. For example, in Tarrant County there's a $6 charge for a certified copy as of publication, while in Angelina County the fee is $5 for a certified copy and $1 for an uncertified copy.

Copies by Mail

A replacement assumed name certificate can also be requested by mail to the county clerk. The clerk may require copies of a valid state-issued ID to verify that you are the business owner, as well as a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a certified check to cover the fee. Most Texas counties will also mail out blank assumed name certificates on a written request, but also require a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of the form. Many Texas counties also make these forms available online for download and printing.