California DBA and Fictitious Name Filings

California DBAs—sometimes called Fictitious Business Names in California—are filed at the county level regardless of entity type. Corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and individuals alike. DBA stands for Doing Business As and can be one of the easiest ways to start a small business or expand a larger one.

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How to File a California DBA for a Sole Proprietor or Partnership

A sole proprietorship or a partnership will be filed with the County Clerk of the county in which the business is physically located. Many counties require that your chosen name be distinguishable from other names on file in that county— can perform a DBA name search at the county level to help you avoid running into this problem in the form of a rejection.

A basic amount of information is required in order to form a DBA in California. A typical list of this information is as follows:

  • The Fictitious Business Name—or DBA—of your business (that is, the name other than your own under which you would like to do business)
  • The name(s) of the owner(s) of the DBA—these can be either individuals, or corporate entities already on file
  • Business address
  • Home address—this must typically be a physical address
  • Signature of owner(s)—this signature does not have to be notarized, but it must be original

Some California counties also ask how many years you wish your DBA to be active. Other counties require that you submit an original and anywhere from 1 to 3 copies of the application.

All counties in California require that notice of filing of the Fictitious Business Name is published in a newspaper of general circulation within a certain amount of time—typically within 30 days from filing, but it’s a good idea to check with your particular county to see if their timeline varies so that you can stay in compliance. When registers your California DBA for you, you have the option to have us take care of the publication requirement for you, leaving you less to worry about.

Other Types of Businesses in California

For information on other types of businesses in California, please explore the links below.

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