How To Get A Fictitious Business Name In California

How To Get A Fictitious Business Name In California
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Introduction

Starting a business in California can be a daunting task, especially if you’re unsure of the legal requirements. One of the crucial steps is registering your business name, also known as a “fictitious business name.” This article will guide you through the process of obtaining a fictitious business name in California.

What is a Fictitious Business Name?

A fictitious business name is a name that a business uses instead of the owner’s name. It’s also known as a “DBA” (doing business as) name. For example, if John Smith starts a business called “John Smith Consulting,” he may want to use a different name, such as “JS Consulting,” as his fictitious business name.

Why Do You Need a Fictitious Business Name?

If you’re doing business under a name that’s not your legal name, you’re required to register a fictitious business name. It’s a legal requirement in California to protect consumers from fraud and ensure that businesses are operating lawfully.

How to Get a Fictitious Business Name in California

To get a fictitious business name in California, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a name for your business.
  2. Conduct a name search to ensure that the name is available.
  3. File a Fictitious Business Name Statement (also known as a DBA Statement) with the county clerk’s office in the county where your business will be located.
  4. Publish the Fictitious Business Name Statement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where your business will be located. This must be done within 30 days of filing the statement.
  5. Submit an Affidavit of Publication to the county clerk’s office to prove that you published the statement in a newspaper.
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What Information Do You Need to File a Fictitious Business Name Statement?

To file a Fictitious Business Name Statement in California, you’ll need the following information:

  • Your business name
  • Your full name and address
  • Your business address
  • The type of business you’re conducting
  • The date you started or will start conducting business under the fictitious name
  • The name and address of any other owners of the business

How Much Does it Cost to File a Fictitious Business Name Statement?

The cost to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement in California varies by county. Check with your county clerk’s office for the current fee.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Fictitious Business Name?

The process of getting a fictitious business name in California can take several weeks. You’ll need to allow time for the name search, filing the statement, publishing the statement, and submitting the Affidavit of Publication.

Do You Need to Renew Your Fictitious Business Name?

Yes, you’ll need to renew your fictitious business name every five years in California.

Can You Change Your Fictitious Business Name?

Yes, you can change your fictitious business name in California by filing a new Fictitious Business Name Statement.

What Happens if You Don’t Register a Fictitious Business Name?

If you’re doing business under a name that’s not your legal name and you don’t register a fictitious business name, you may be subject to fines and legal action.

Conclusion

Getting a fictitious business name in California is a necessary step for any business owner. Follow the steps outlined in this article to ensure that you’re operating your business legally and protecting your customers from fraud. Remember to renew your fictitious business name every five years and file a new statement if you decide to change your business name.

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FAQ Answer
1. What is a fictitious business name? A fictitious business name is a name that a business uses instead of the owner’s name.
2. Why do you need a fictitious business name in California? It’s a legal requirement in California to protect consumers from fraud and ensure that businesses are operating lawfully.
3. How do you get a fictitious business name in California? Choose a name for your business, conduct a name search, file a Fictitious Business Name Statement, publish the statement in a newspaper, and submit an Affidavit of Publication.
4. How much does it cost to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement? The cost varies by county. Check with your county clerk’s office for the current fee.
5. How long does it take to get a fictitious business name in California? The process can take several weeks.
6. Do you need to renew your fictitious business name? Yes, you’ll need to renew it every five years.
7. Can you change your fictitious business name? Yes, you can file a new Fictitious Business Name Statement to change your name.
8. What happens if you don’t register a fictitious business name? You may be subject to fines and legal action.
9. What information do you need to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement? You’ll need your business name, full name and address, business address, type of business, start date, and the name and address of any other owners.
10. What is the purpose of publishing the Fictitious Business Name Statement in a newspaper? It’s to inform the public that you’re doing business under a name that’s not your legal name.
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