F.A.Q.

Here are our most commonly asked Questions.

Frequently

Asked

Questions

I'VE SIGNED AND MAILED BY DBA/FICTITIUS BUSINESS NAME APPLICATION , HOW LONG TILL I RECEIVE MY CERTIFIED COPY?

A certified copy of the filed form will be mailed to you after it is filed with the Los Angeles County Clerks office. (Please note: This certified copy is usually required by banks to open your business account.) (You will receive your certified DBA/Fictitious Business Name form within 5-7 business days after receipt of your signed DBA form.)

I'VE ENTERED MY PAYMENT INFORMATION WILL I RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION LETTER?

When your form has been received and processed by us, you will receive a confirmation letter by e-mail.

CAN I CHANGE THE NAME OR ADDRESS OR OWNER AFTER A LOS ANGELES COUNTY A DBA NAME IS REGISTERED?

No, if any information such as owner’s name, business address or DBA name changes, you must start over and file a new DBA.

HOW LONG IS A LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME OF FBN REGISTRATION VALID FOR?

Los Angeles County DBA name filings are for a period of 5 years, after which a renewal must be filed, or you will need to start over again with a new DBA filing.

HOW MANY LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME OR FBN NAMES CAN I REGISTER.

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IS THIS ALL I NEED TO OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT?

It is best to call your bank to ask what exactly they need, however, all banks will require a copy of your DBA filing document, so our service fulfills one of their requirements for sure.

WHAT DOES A LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME OR FBN FILING DO FOR ME?

The most important immediate use of a Los Angeles County DBA name is the ability to open a bank account in the name of the business. It also establishes a legal proof of business name ownership and use.

CAN I USE A PO BOX AS THE ADDRESS FOR FILING A LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME IN CALIFORNIA?

Using the words “PO Box” is not allowed, however many new startup companies use services such as a “Mailbox Etc.” or the “UPS Store ” type location, since they offer street addresses and not a PO Box.

WHERE SHOULD I FILE MY LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME OR FBN REGISTRATION?

The registration should be filed in the county where your business office, store, restaurant address is located. You can file in multiple counties, but only if you have a business address in each of the other counties.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DESIRED LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME IS AVAILABLE OR NOT?

Similar in concept to the question above, the government does not check any database for name availability or conflict, and the clerks do not reject an application due to name similarity. Therefore, your desired name will be accepted.

DOES A LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME PREVENT OTHERS FROM USING MY BUSINESS NAME?

In reality, a DBA filing will not stop others from filing the same name or similar name. The government will not check their records to see if there is a conflict, nor will the government reject an application, since they don’t check the files.

I WISH TO REGISTER AS A CORPORATION OR A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING SPECIAL?

A corporation is a unique legal entity; therefore, the corporation is the registrant, not a person. Also, your articles of incorporation number is required on the form along with a copy of the cover page of the articles of incorporation.

DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY IF I AM FILING A LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA RENEWAL?

Los Angeles County need to be renewed every five years. If you are renewing your DBA and none of your information has changed since your original filing, it does not need to be published. If there are any changes, then it is treated like a new Los Angeles County DBA and needs to be published to protect your name. It is our policy to publish all Los Angeles County DBA filings whether they are renewal or new. This is for your protection. (It is better to be safe than sorry!)

WHAT IF A PARTNER LEAVES THE BUSINESS BUT ANOTHER PARTNER WILL CONTINUE OPERATING UNDER THE FBN?

Any person who is a general partner in a partnership that is or has been regularly transacting business under a fictitious business name may, upon withdrawing as a general partner, file a statement of withdrawal from the partnership operating under a fictitious business name. The statement is filed and published in the same manner as a FBN. Only the signature of the withdrawing partner is required.

WHAT ACTIONS ARE BARRED BY A BUSINESS UNTIL A FBN IS FILED AND PUBLISHED?

No one transacting business in California under a fictitious business name may maintain any action upon or on account of any contract made, or transaction had, in the fictitious business name in any court in California until the FBN has been executed, filed and published in accordance with the Business and Professions Code.

WHERE AND WHEN MUST A FBN BE PUBLISHED?

Within 30 days after a FBN is filed, it must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Los Angeles County. Publication is to be once a week for four consecutive weeks.
Where a new FBN is required because the previous FBN has expired by reason of the five year requirement it need not be published again unless there has been a change in the information required in the expired FBN, provided the refiling is filed within 40 days of the date the statement expired. An affidavit of publication shall be filed with the county clerk within 30 days after completion of the publication.

WHEN DOES A FBN EXPIRE?

A FBN expires: a. At the end of five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk.
b. Forty days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement, except that a change in the residence address of an individual, general partner, or trustee does not cause the statement to expire.
c. If the registrant files a statement of abandonment of the fictitious business name described in the FBN.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE CALIFORNIA BUSINESS LAW THAT COVERS BUSINESS NAME REGISTRATION?

Fictitious Business Name statement law is found in California Business and Professions Code Sections 17900 – 17930. You should refer to these sections or consult with an attorney for any specific legal questions. When a section number is cited hereafter, the reference is to that section in the Business and Professions Code, unless otherwise noted.
Fictitious Business Name Statements are referred to as “FBN” and are also commonly referred to as “DBA” (Doing Business As).

I WISH TO REGISTER AS A CORPORATION OR A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY. DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING SPECIAL?

A corporation is a unique legal entity; therefore, the corporation is the registrant, not a person. Also, your articles of incorporation number is required on the form along with a copy of the cover page of the articles of incorporation.

IS A DBA FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME THE SAME AS A BUSINESS LICENSE?

No. A business license is simply a flat rate business tax fee by local governments or the state or both in most cases. The fee depends on the type of business and ranges between $50 and thousands of dollars depending on the locality and the nature of the business. For example, an attorney, is required to be licensed by the State Bar and pay a flat annual fee. In addition, he has to pay local government fees for each location maintained, promote and do business in – i.e., must have a physical location – you can do business in other cities without a license (in most cases) so long as your don’t have a physical location there. That is the case form most regulated professions. On the other hand a typical business is required to pay business tax only to the local government and the fee is about $100 to $200 dollars for most businesses, unless you do business in a rich area like Beverly Hills where you have to pay more. A fictitious name is simply a legally required filed and published Statement that you do business under a name other than your own personal name. It is used to transact business under that name and collect money in the form of checks or credit cards based on a business bank account with the fictitious business name. For example, the bank will not open a bank account in a name other than your own personal name unless you have a filed and published fictitious business name statement as required by law.

WHO IS REQUIRED TO SIGN THE FBN FORM?

If the registrant is an individual, the statement shall be signed by the individual; if a partnership or other association of persons, by a general partner; if a limited liability company, by a manager or officer; if a business trust, by a trustee; if a corporation, by an officer.

DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY IF I AM FILING A RENEWAL DBA?

DBAs need to be renewed every five years. If you are renewing your DBA and none of your information has changed since your original filing, it does not need to be published. If there are any changes, then it is treated like a new DBA and needs to be published to protect your name. It is our policy to publish all DBA filings whether they are renewal or new. This is for your protection. (It is better to be safe than sorry! )

DO I NEED TO FILE A DBA IF I JUST PLAN TO USE MY INITIALS?

Yes, you would still need to file a DBA. For example, you do not need a DBA if you are doing business under the name John Doe Plumbing, but you would need a DBA if you are conducting business as J.D Plumbing.

WHERE TO FILE A FBN?

Filing will be with the Los Angeles County Clerk as a registrant able to conduct business legally and officially in the County of Los Angeles.

WHY DO I NEED A LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME?

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 (aka DBAs) must be published for four (4) consecutive weeks in an adjudicated newspaper after filing with the County Clerk/Recorder’s office. 2. Banks will not open a business account for you without proof of your DBA filing. 3. By filing a DBA, you are protecting your business name in the county in which you do business.

WHO IS NOT REQUIRED TO FILE A DBA?

Organizations not required to file a FBN are non-profit corporations or associations such as churches, labor unions, fraternal and charitable organizations, non-profit hospitals, etc. and real estate investment trusts with permits under Government Code Section 23002 which have statements on file designating an agent for service of process, or has qualified to do business under Chapter 21 of the Corporations Code.

WHO SHALL FILE A DBA?

Every person who regularly transacts business in California for profit under a fictitious business name shall: (a) File a FBN not later than 40 days from the time he commences to transact business; (b) File a new FBN on or before the date of expiration of the FBN on file.

WHAT IS A LOS ANGELES COUNTY DBA NAME?

A DBA (Doing Business As) or FNBS (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.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME" STATEMENT (FBN) OR A "DOING BUSINESS AS" (DBA)?

By the way there is no difference between a Fictitious Business Name Statement (FBN) Assumed Business Name, Firm Name or a “Doing Business As” (DBA) A Fictitious Business Name is simply a filing and publication by the business or individual under which the Fictitious Business Name operates. It tells the community that Jane Doe, who lives on 1 City St. in Palos Verdes, CA 90000, operates a business called “Chamber of Commerce Journal,” and she business address is 1 Nowhere St, Los Angeles California 90000. So now people and banks can trust you and issue checks in the company’s name and the bank will open a bank account and let you cash the checks. NOTE THE BANK will not open a bank account unless you have a Fictitious Business Name – which is simply a filing and publication of the business or individual under which the Fictitious Business Name operates. “DBA” means “Doing Business As…” A person or a company is using a business name other than their personal or corporation name. Example: Mr. Rogers starts a business called “My Neighborhood”. Obviously, he may not want his name to be associated with the business name , so a DBA registration is required, unless he uses “Mr. Rogers” or even Mr. Rogers, the Neighbor” as his business name because in the latter case his real name is incorporated in the business name.

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What We Offer

California New Business Bureau was founded in 2001 with one simple mission: to make starting a business as simple, fast and as inexpensive as possible. We offer the information, resources, and solutions that help small business owners understand the difference between incorporation vs. LLC, how to incorporate a small business as well as clearly outline the steps to incorporate and register a company.

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