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What is Fictitious Business Name?
One of the responsibilities of the County Clerk's office is to record the filing of a "Fictitious Name Statement" for businesses wishing to conduct business in the County.
The reason behind having fictitious business names registered is so that it is easy to track down who actually owns a company in the case of a problem. It also allows the business owner to enforce contracts signed under the name of the business. A fictitious business statement is NOT equivalent to a business license. Some professions and occupations are subject to additional regulations and may require additional licensing/certification at the local or state level. Please visit www.calgold.ca.gov for more information on business requirements.
In California, fictitious business statements are governed by Business and Professions Code Section 17900-17930 which says that in the case of an individual, a name that does not include the surname of the individual or a name that suggests the existence of additional owners requires filing a fictitious business statement. For example, Smith Widgets would not require a fictitious business statement because it contains John Smith's last name. In most states however the last name alone is not enough. As far as JS Widgets goes, a fictitious business statement would be required as the initials of John Smith are not sufficient to convey who he his.
In the Case of an Individual
- a name that does not include the owner(s) surname or suggests the existence of additional owners, such as Sons, Associates, Brothers, Company.
In the Case of a Partnership or Other Association of Persons
- a name that does not include the surname of each general partner or a name that suggests the existence of additional owners.
In the Case of a Corporation
- any name other than the corporate name stated in its articles of incorporation.
In the Case of a Limited Partnership
- any name other than the name of the limited partnership as on file with the Secretary of State.
In the Case of a Limited Liability Company
- any name other than the name of the LLC as on file with the Secretary of State.
Please note that filings and renewals that indicate a registrant is a corporation, limited partnership or limited liability company will be required to submit a copy of the articles or incorporation/organization or statement of information on file with the Secretary of State. The information listed on the supporting document submitted must match the name and address listed on your FBN filing. To obtain a copy of your Secretary of State filing, please click here.
NOTE: Some financial institutions may have additional guidelines or requirements concerning your FBN filing. It is recommended to have your bank review your statement prior to filing with the County Clerk to avoid immediate re-filings to make changes. There is no provision to make corrections once the statement has been filed. All filing fees will be required should your bank require changes before opening a business account.
Fee and Forms
(These forms are fillable to print and mail)
|Filing Fictitious Business Name Statement
(each additional business name or owner name: $7.00)
|Abandon Fictitious Business Name Statement||$15.00|
|Withdrawal from Partnership||$15.00|
|Certified Copy of Fictitious Business Name Statement||$2.25|
|Plain Copy of Fictitious Business Name Statement||.50¢|
Note: All information contained in the statement is public record
If you have any questions regarding the filing of your fictitious business name statement, please call, e-mail or come to our office.