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Fictitious Business Names

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Fictitious Business Names

Fictitious Business Names (FBN) or, as commonly referred to, a “DBA” (Doing Business As), are business names that must be registered with the county clerk of the county in which you are conducting your business. In California, a Fictitious Business Name Statement is required to be filed with the county recorder if:

  • A Sole Proprietorship is doing business under a name that does not contain the owner’s surname (last name);
  • If the business operates as a general partnership;
  • If the business operates as a corporation and does business under a name other than its legal name as registered with the California Secretary of State.

If your business falls into one of these categories, you must register your fictitious business name. This can be done, with the assistance of a business attorney, by doing the following:

  • Complete and submit a Fictitious Business Name statement in every county in which your business operates;
  • Pay the appropriate filing fees;
  • Publish your fictitious business name in a newspaper of general circulation in every county in which your business operates. Your publication must appear at least once per week for four consecutive weeks;
  • File an affidavit of publication with each county recorder.

Once your fictitious business name is properly registered, you may conduct business under that name.

Fictitious business name registration is also used to protect your intellectual property rights in a particular trade name. By recording your FBN, you are giving the public notice of your claim to the rights to use that name. Without it, the public or another business owner may have no way of knowing you have the exclusive right to use the name in the county in which it is registered and your right to such exclusive use may be at risk.

If you are starting a business, it is essential to consider whether you are required to register your fictitious business name. A Tailored Legal business attorney can quickly help you decide whether it is necessary and can offer you an affordable fixed fee within your business budget for the registration process. Contact us today for a no cost consultation regarding your fictitious business name.


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