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Fictitious Business Names (FBN)

A Fictitious Business Name shall be filed within 40 days of first transacting business. Once registered, it is effective for 5 years. The fictitious business name will need to be re-registered prior to the date of expiration or if the business location changes. Once a Fictitious Business Name statement is filed, it must be published in an adjudicated newspaper one day per week for four consecutive weeks. Publication must start within 30 days of filing the statement with the County Clerk's office.

Requirement for Filing a Fictitious Business Name Statement

Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17900) of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code, requires the filing of a Fictitious Business Name Statement.

Who Must File?

Every individual, partnership and other associations and corporations who regularly transact business for profit in this state under a fictitious business name.

For more information please see:

  For additional information, please contact any one of the County Clerk's office locations during regular business hours.


Definitions of a FBN

For individuals: A name that does not include the surname of the individual. A name that suggests existence of additional owners (such words as "Company," "& Company," "& Sons," "& Associates," "Brothers;" but not words that merely describe the business being conducted).

For partnerships or other association of persons: A name that does not include surname of each general partner or a name that suggests existence of additional owners (such as "Company," "Brothers," etc.). (In the case of an unincorporated association other than a partnership, a "general partner" means a person whose liability in the business is substantially the same as a general partner.)

For corporations: A name not stated in its articles of incorporation.

Organizations not included: Non-profit corporations or associations such as churches, labor unions, fraternal and charitable organizations, non-profit hospitals, and, real estate investment trusts with permits under Section 23000 of the Corporations Code.

Expirations and Abandonments

A fictitious business statement expires five years from the date it is filed with the County Clerk, and a new statement must be filed. The new statement need not be re-published if the information contained in the new statement previously filed has not changed from originally filed statement and the new filing is filed within 40 days of expiration of the previous statement.

A statement expires 40 days after any change in the facts contained in the statement except that a change in the residence address of an individual.

A statement also expires when an abandonment has been filed.


A person who has filed a statement shall, upon ceasing to transact business in this state under that fictitious name, file and publish a statement of abandonment, and file an affidavit of publication. Forms for this purpose are available in the County Clerk's Office.

Withdrawal of a General Partner

A general partner of a partnership having a statement on file may file a statement of withdrawal, publish and file an affidavit of publication. (Publication is not required if dissolution of the partnership has been published pursuant to the Corporations Code.) Forms for this purpose are available in the County Clerk's Office.

Trustees, Guardians, Administrators, Assignees, and Purchasers

Whenever failure to comply with this law would preclude taking legal action to recover monies due, a trustee in bankruptcy, an administrator of the estate or an assignee or purchaser of the business may file the fictitious name statement.

When and Where to File

The statement must be filed not later than 40 days from the time business commences to be transacted.

The fictitious business name statement shall be filed with the County Clerk of the County in which the registrant has his/her principal place of business. If he/she has no place of business in California, it shall be filed with the County Clerk of Sacramento County.


Within thirty days after the statement is filed, the registrant shall publish it in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the principal place of business is located. "The newspaper selected for the publication of the statement should be one that circulates in the area where the business is to be conducted." (Section 17917b, Business & Professions Code.)

To save you a trip to the County Clerk's office, many newspapers in Riverside County will file your fictitious statement for you. Call your nearest adjudicated newspaper to find out if they offer this service. A listing of adjudicated newspapers serving Riverside County, including contact information, may be downloaded here.

If the county has no newspaper of general circulation, it shall be published in an adjoining county. If the registrant does not have a place of business in the state, publication will be made in Sacramento County.

An affidavit of publication shall be filed with the County Clerk within 30 days after the completion of publication.