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Fictitious Business Name Publication: Which Newspaper? logo for post about FBN publication

A fictitious business name (FBN) is California’s term for a DBA (“doing business as”). This post explains the State’s FBN publication requirement and describes how I have selected newspapers for this purpose.

Once you file your FBN statement with the clerk of the applicable county, you have 30 days to arrange for a “newspaper of general circulation” in that county to publish that statement once a week for four weeks. Business and Professions Code Section 17917(a)

Publication – A Helpful County

At least one county helps you find such a newspaper. The Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder’s Publishing Information page includes a link to a court listing of newspapers of general circulation in the county.

When I obtained an FBN for a client in Santa Clara County several years ago, I chose the San Jose Mercury News, a paper with which I was familiar. I sent an email and had a follow-up conversation with the paper’s representative. Publication went smoothly.

Publication – A Not-So-Helpful County…

More recently, I obtained an FBN for a client in Alameda County. While that county provides information about FBNs, it does not provide a list of newspapers that can satisfy the publication requirement.

So, I did some hunting online. I was pleased to find the Daily Journal Corporation’s

…But a Very Helpful Newspaper Site

Decades ago, I knew the Daily Journal as a legal newspaper in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I have not read that paper since then.

Nevertheless, I was delighted to find because:

  • I was able to order publication online outside of normal business hours.
  • The site can set up publication in any county. (If the Daily Journal does not publish in a given county, it arranges with a paper that does publish there.)
  • Once I completed the input and payment process, the publication notice was displayed for my review.
  • The $35 fee was reasonable – neither the highest nor the lowest I have seen.

In all likelihood, is the site I will go to in the future any time I need to publish an FBN statement.

Check out all posts about fictitious business names.

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