Fictitious Business Name Statement (FBN)
Detailed information regarding Fictitious Business Names can be found on the Official California Legislative Information web site, Business and Professions Code Sections 17900 – 17930 and 14411 – 14418, and Government Code Sections 6020 - 6027, 6040, and 6064.
A Fictitious Business Name is to ensure that consumers have access to the true name and address of the owners of a business (B & P Code Section § 17920).
A FBN is a business name that does not include the surname of the individual owner, AND each of the partners or the nature of the business is not clearly evident by the name.
- Examples: “Sam Hunt Gardening” would not require a FBN to be filed because the owner (Sam Hunt) is conducting business under his own legal name. “Hunt and Company Gardening” would require a FBN be filed. Even though the surname is stated, the business name suggests that other owners are involved but not named.
In the case of a corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership, a FBN is any name other than the EXACT name that is on record with the Secretary of State’s office.
Who should file a Fictitious Business Name?
- Persons doing business for profit under a fictitious name (does not include surname in business name).
- Non-profit corporations or organizations are not required to file.
- A business that has had a change in the facts set forward in the original filing, such as a change of ownership or status with the Secretary of State, must refile within 40 days of that change or the original filing will be considered expired.
Requirements for Filing a Fictitious Business Name
- Owner must sign (corporate officer if corporation; manager or officer if limited liability company; general partner if partnership; trustee if trust).
- Street address of principal place of business and county must be listed (corporation/limited liability companies must include address as set out in its articles of incorporation on file with the Secretary of State and the state of incorporation/organization).
- If the registrant is a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited partnership, or a limited liability partnership, the county clerk will require a print-out issued by the Secretary of State indicating the current existence and good standing of that business entity, no other state evidence will be accepted. This can be obtained by going to the Secretary of State website at businesssearch.sos.ca.gov.
- All owners and their residence addresses (not P.O. Box) must be listed.
- Effective January 1, 2015, pursuant to Senate Bill 1467, the Mono County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters will require an Affidavit of Identity form to accompany all Fictitious Business Name Statements (Original, Refile and New).
- In-Person: Registrants are required to present a completed FBN statement, show valid identification, and complete an Affidavit of Identity form.
- Mail-In: Registrants are required to submit a completed FBN statement and notarized Affidavit of Identity form.
- Third Party: Persons presenting FBN statements on behalf of the registrant must show valid identification, and submit the completed notarized Affidavit of Identity and Agent form.
- One registrant name or a married couple: $20.00 (ONE Business name)
- Additional Business names: $5.00 each
- Additional registrant names: $5.00 each
- Abandonment of FBN: $20.00
- Certified copy of FBN: $1.60
Steps to file, refile, or renew a Fictitious Business Name Statement:
- Research the business name to see if it has already been taken or to look up your previous filing information. You may call our office for a perfunctory search over the phone, but the best practice is to come to our Bridgeport office in person so you can look up any iterations of the name you wish to use. California law requires that FBNs are filed at the County level; there is no Statewide or national registry. (If the registrant has no place of business within the State, the filing shall be with the Clerk of Sacramento County.)
- Completely fill out your application, located at the bottom of this page or available in person at either of our office locations. You may send it to us in the mail with payment, drop off at our satellite location in Mammoth or at our main location in Bridgeport. Do not abbreviate any proper names of people, business names, places, or cities. If you make a mistake on the application and have already filed with the Clerk of Mono County, you must refile, pay all applicable fees, and republish.
- Mail to: Clerk-Recorder, PO Box 237, Bridgeport, CA 93517
- Appear in person at 74 N. School St, Annex 1, Bridgeport.
- State law requires that within 45 days of filing, the registrant must publish a statement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the principal place of business is located once a week for four consecutive weeks.
- Publication must begin within 45 days of filing, and an affidavit of publication must be received back in the Clerk’s office within 30 days of the last date of publication. Please verify with the newspaper whether they will provide this service or if it will be your responsibility.
- Renewal FBNs do not require publication IF both of the following conditions are met:
- the renewal is filed no more than 40 days past its expiration date; AND
- the business name / registrants being renewed are EXACTLY the same as the original filing.
- If the Renewal FBN does not meet the above criteria, it is now considered a new filing, and publication will be necessary. (Example: Hunt and Company Gardening is now Hunt and Company Gardening, LLC; Hunt and Co Gardening; Hunt and Sons Gardening; Hunt and Company Gardening and Landscaping, etc.)
A FBN that has not been published within 45 days will expire and must be refiled, and fees repaid, or the FBN is not valid.
Withdrawals and Abandonments
If you will no longer be conducting business and your FBN was filed within the last 5 years, you will need to file a Statement of Abandonment of the use of your FBN. The Abandonment shall be executed in the same manner as the filing and publication of a Fictitious Business Name Statement.
Filing FBN/DBA applications:
- Send Application to mailing address listed
- File in Bridgeport at the County Clerks' Office Annex I
Our office does not issue business licenses; you may contact the Treasurer-Tax Collector at 760-932-5480 for information.
Resale licenses / seller’s permits are issued through the State Board of Equalization.
Tax ID numbers are issued through the Franchise Tax Board.