California Fictitious Business Name
Naming a business is an important branding strategy for a person or entity involved in a for-profit trade or business in California. California fictitious business name, also known as a California DBA (doing business as), is only used for branding purpose and is not a type of business structure.
An individual or a business entity must file a fictitious business name (FBN) statement with the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office in the county where the business will be located. If the business is not located in California, the business needs to register with the Clerk of Sacramento County.
Under California law, sole proprietors, partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations must file a DBA if they plan to operate under a different name. Filing a FBN statement makes the identity of the person doing business under the fictitious name available to the public.
To file a DBA, the first step is to do a California fictitious business name search with the County. If the proposed name is available, you can file a fictitious business name (FBN) statement with the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office. A fictitious business name statement usually must be filed within 40 days of starting the business.
The fee to file a fictitious business name statement varies depending on the city or county where it is filed. Inquiries should be directed to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office in the county where the business will be primarily located.
The filing is valid for five years or until the facts in the statement change, whichever occurs first.
Within 30 days after filing a fictitious business name statement, the registrant must publish the statement in a local newspaper of general circulation near the principal place of business. The notice must appear once a week for four successive weeks. Within 30 days of the last published date, the registrant must file an affidavit of publication with the city or county office. After the publication, the whole process is completed.
Please note business owners should check with the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office for compliance before the DBA application. This article is only for reference.