This post continues the last post’s discussion of the fictitious business name (FBN – or, colloquially, the DBA for “doing business as”). I am writing this because of a client’s question as to when his company should apply for a DBA / fictitious business name.
California Business & Professions Code Section 17910(a) states that a Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed within 40 days of the time when the registrant first used the FBN to conduct business in the state.
The registrant files the Statement with the County Clerk in the county where the registrant’s principal place of business is located in the state. If there is no such county, then the registrant files the FBN Statement in Sacramento County. Business & Professions Code Section 17915
The registrant may file FBN Statements in other counties, as well.
After filing the FBN Statement, the registrant must publish the Statement in a newspaper of general circulation once per week for four successive weeks. Business & Professions Code Section 17917; Government Code Section 6064
The process is not difficult, and there is a statutory incentive to apply for a DBA right away. No lawsuit may be brought based on a contract or transaction entered into under the FBN until the filing and publication procedures have been complied with. Business & Professions Code Section 17918
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Follow-up: When you apply for a DBA / fictitious business name, you should think about whether to register the name as a trademark or service mark.
Related post: What If I No Longer Need My DBA?
Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510-326-2123 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.