A DBA (“Doing Business As”) or FBN (“Fictitious Business Name Statement”) is a declaration by an individual or other business entity stating that they intend to conduct their business under the name they have chosen. It is illegal in the state of California to do business under any name which has not been registered with the county in which the business resides and published in an adjudicated newspaper in the same county.
A DBA (“Doing Business As”) or FBN (“Fictitious Business Name”) 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. DBAs must be filed in the county in which the business resides. Here at File DBA, we take care of this process to get you back to doing what you love.
For example, doing business under a name like John Doe & Associates or John Doe & Sons would require a Fictitious Business Name to be registered, even though the surname of the owner is stated, the words following the surname suggest other owners that are not specifically named. However, doing business under a name like John Doe Plumbing would not require a Fictitious Business Name to be registered, because the owner (John Doe) is conducting business under his legal name.
In the case of a corporation, a Fictitious Business Name is any name other than the exact corporate name as stated in the Articles of Incorporation.
- It is the law! By law, you have to inform the public that you are ‘Doing Business As’ any name other than your own personal name. California law states that all Fictitious Business Name Statements (FBN/DBAs) must be published for four (4) consecutive weeks in an adjudicated newspaper after filing with the County Clerk/Recorder’s office.
- Banks will not be able to open a business account for you without proof of your DBA filing.
- By filing a DBA, you are taking the steps to protect your business name in the county in which you do business. Keep in mind that there are many methods by which you can protect your business name. Filing a Fictitious Business Name Statement is by no means the most powerful protection of your chosen name. We advise seeking further counsel from an attorney for the next steps in the protection process.
What’s in a name? Your DBA is the way customers can find you. It is one of the means in which business owners make sure that their customers do not accidentally find their way to a competitor. A DBA is a clear way of distinguishing your business from any others.
File with us in less than five minutes…(without leaving the house)
- Enter the appropriate information into our comprehensive, automated form.
- Print out the completed form, sign it, and mail it to us.
- Sit back, relax, and let us take care of those nitty-gritty details (including filing & publishing).
How you answer this question may affect your taxes and other expenses associated with conducting a business. FileDBA.com associates are prohibited from rendering legal advice or assistance. (The following information is sourced from Black’s Law Dictionary – Revised Edition and the Business and Professions Code – Section 17900 and is not intended to provide exact legal definitions under California Law, or to bypass the need to consult an attorney.)
Individual – One person as distinguished from group or class.
Husband and Wife – A man and a woman lawfully joined in marriage.
Co-partners – A voluntary contract between two or more competent persons to place their money, effects, labor, and skill, or some or all of them, in a lawful business, with the understanding that there shall be a proportional sharing of the profits and losses between them.
Corporation – An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state or a nation, composed of a single person and his successors, or an association of numerous individuals (Corporations declare their corporation status with the state, not the county.)
General Partnership – a partnership in which the parties carry on all their trade and business, whatever it may be, for the joint benefit and the profit of all the parties concerned, whether the capital stock be limited or not, or the contributions there to be equal or unequal.
Unincorporated Association – An unincorporated group of persons organized primarily for the collection of claims of its own members.
Joint Venture – A commercial or maritime enterprise undertaken by several persons jointly; a limited partnership, not limited in the statutory sense as to the liability of the partners, but as to its scope and duration.
Other – An entity, or group of entities that have joined together, to conduct businesses that do not have the distinction of any other type of filing status. Example: two clubs that combine their efforts as one single business, for profit or non-profit. (Though non-profit organizations are not required to file a fictitious business name, some do to establish itself or as required by their financial institution.)
Limited partnership – A partnership consisting of one or more general partners, jointly and severally responsible as ordinary partners, and by whom the business is conducted, and one or more special partners, contributing in cash payments a specific sum as capital to the common stock, and who are not liable for the debts of the partnership beyond the fund so contributed.
Limited Liability Company – Same as Limited Partnership except that it is filed at the state level and limits the liabilities of each partner, entity, etc.
Business Trust – As distinguished from a joint-stock company, a pure “business trust” is one in which the managers are principals, and the shareholders are cestuis que trust (those who have a right to a beneficial interest in and out of an estate the legal title to which is vested in another.)
As the registrant, it is your responsibility to read and be familiar with the requirements for filing a DBA. Only portions of the Business and Profession Code sections of the governing DBA statements are included in the instructions.
If you have legal questions regarding the filing of any of the above documents, leginfo.ca.gov is a link to California Legal Information. For specific Business and Professions Code visit: http://leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html, click Business and Professions, type 17900 into the search box, and hit search.
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You can log in here to check all your orders and find which you need one by date, filling type, status, etc.
If you cannot remember your customer ID, keep in mind that it is basically the email address you used for filing. If you don’t remember your password for the portal, you can reset it here.
You can check the email from us confirming your new order and print it from there. You also can log into the portal and check all your orders. You can easily locate it via the Filing ID or the date you filed and you can download a copy anytime.
If you have successfully printed out your DBA form, all you need to do is sign the form in black ink (certain counties require this to be notarized) and mail it in. It’s that simple.
Still need help? Reach out to one of our trusted team members for a hand.