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Step By Step: Registering A Fictitious Business Name in California

Fictitious Business Registration/Doing Business As (DBA) Form
Doing Business As (DBA) Registration Form

Another critical document showcased in my Ultimate Guide To The Top 35 Most Commonly Notarized Documents post is the fictitious business name statement. Establishing a business in California requires navigating various legal procedures, one of which involves registering a fictitious business name. Also known as a "Doing Business As" (DBA) name, this registration process allows individuals or entities to conduct business under a name different from their legal entity's name. This article will highlight the intricacies of fictitious business name statements in California, emphasizing their significance and detailing the step-by-step process of filing all relevant paperwork.

What Are Fictitious Business Name Filings?

A fictitious business name filing in California refers to the legal registration of a business name that differs from the owner's legal name or the name under which the business operates. This registration is mandatory for sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations that intend to conduct business using a name other than their own.

The primary purpose of filing a fictitious business name statement is to ensure transparency and prevent deceitful business practices. It allows consumers to identify the individuals or entities behind a business, enhancing accountability and trust in commercial transactions.

How To File A Fictitious Business Name In California.

  • Name Search: Before initiating the registration process, it's crucial to conduct a name search to ensure the desired business name is available and not already in use. This search can be performed online through the county clerk's office.

  • Completing the Filing Forms: Once the availability of the chosen name is confirmed, the next step involves completing the required forms. In California, the appropriate form varies based on the type of business entity. These forms typically require details such as the business name, address, type of business, and registrant information.

  • Notarization: One crucial aspect of filing a fictitious business name in California is notarization. The completed forms need to be notarized before submission if they will not be filed in person. A notary public certifies the authenticity of the signatures on the forms, verifying that the individuals signing are indeed who they claim to be. Notarization adds a layer of authentication to the filing process.

  • Submission and Publication: After notarization, the forms must be submitted to the county clerk's office in the county where the business operates. Along with the forms, a filing fee is required. Once accepted, the business is typically required to publish a notice of the fictitious business name in a local newspaper for a specified duration to inform the public about the new business name.

Notary's Role In Fictitious Business Name Filings.

  • Verification of Signatures: Notaries authenticate the identities of individuals signing the filing forms. They verify the identity of the registrants and confirm that the signatures are genuine.

  • Ensuring Legal Compliance: Notaries ensure that the filing forms are completed and in compliance with California notary public laws. They certify the accuracy of the information provided and the authenticity of the signatures.

  • Preventing Fraud: Notaries serve as a deterrent against fraud by independently verifying the identity of the individuals involved in the filing process. This helps maintain the integrity of the registration system and prevents unauthorized or fraudulent filings.

Filing a fictitious business name statement in California is a fundamental step for businesses aiming to operate under a name different from their legal entity's name. The process involves thorough research, completion of requisite forms, notarization, and compliance with publication requirements. Notaries play a crucial role in ensuring the authenticity and legality of the filing process, thereby upholding the transparency and credibility of businesses operating under fictitious names in the state. Understanding these procedures is vital for entrepreneurs and entities seeking to establish their presence and conduct lawful business operations in California.


With a proven track record since 2001, Notary Long Beach-Mobile Notary & Apostille has been a reliable choice for notarizing fictitious business name statements. Contact us today for quick and professional mobile notary services in cities throughout Los Angeles County and Orange County.


Kimberly D. McKendell, the owner of Notary Long Beach-Mobile Notary & Apostille, is a mobile notary public based in Long Beach who has completed thousands of notarizations since 2001. Call her for all of your notary needs. She specializes in apostilles and authentications, real estate documents, living trusts, medical records, estate planning documents, fictitious business name filings, title transfers, patent forms, international adoptions, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and power of attorney documents.

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