Fictitious Business Names
The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.
Consumer Scam Alert!
Sonoma County business owners have received solicitations from a private company encouraging them to renew their Fictitious Business Name Statements for a fee of $150.00. Business owners can deal directly with the County Clerk’s Office when filing.
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Who must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement
- Anyone doing business for profit under a fictitious name, as governed by Business and Professions Code § 17900.
- Statement is required to be filed in county of principal place of business
∗ May also be filed in other counties as long as the requirements for filing in the county of principal place of business have been met
- If filing a Fictitious Business Name in the office, the individual filing the statement is required by law to show valid, government issued ID.
- Be certain the information in the statement is correct and complete before filing it.
- No changes can be made to the statement once it has been filed.
- Any changes would require the filing of a new statement, payment of the filing fees, and, if required, publication in a newspaper in Sonoma County.
- All information contained in the statement is a Public record, including your residence address.
- Anyone can purchase copies of the statement
- The Statement will expire after 5 years
- An expiration reminder notice will be sent to the mailing address on the Statement
- Any change except owner residence address requires a new filing, payment of applicable fees and republication within 30 days of the change
- Name must be abandoned if no longer in business by filing statement of abandonment, paying $31.00 fee, and publication
- State Law requires the disclosure of actual street addresses for the place of business and each owner's place of residence
- P.O. Boxes, postal suites, postal drop boxes, mailing suite, etc are not legally acceptable
- Fictitious Business Name Statement
- $40.00 for the first business name and first owner name
- $9.00 for each additional business or owner name
- Statement of Abandonment - $31.00
- Withdrawal from Partnership - $31.00
About Business Names
- Filing a Fictitious Business Name Statement does not reserve the name for your exclusive use.
- It is a consumer protection
- It is a requirement under Business & Professions Code § 17900.
- The County Clerk's Office cannot refuse to file a fictitious business name statement because the name is already being used by someone else.
- If there is a conflict between business owners using the same or similar names, it becomes a legal matter between the business owners.
Completing the Form
- Please read the instructions on the form carefully. Changes to the form cannot be made after the statement is filed.
- State Law requires the disclosure of actual street addresses for the place of business and EACH owner's place of residence
- Do not use a mailing address such as a P.O. Box, postal suite, postal drop box, mailing suite, etc.
- Business Address
- Use the address of the physical location of the principal place of business
- If you operate the business out of your home, use the home address
- If no street address is assigned, give the exact location of the business plus the rural route, slip number, or other number assigned
- Residence Address
- The owner’s street address must be listed under the registrant information, do not use a mailing address.
- For Corporations or LLC's:
- Registrant address can be the address listed on the registration paperwork with the Secretary of State
- The State of Incorporation must be listed
- Foreign Corporations or LLC's must be registered with the California Secretary of State
- All original filings as well as new filings with any changes from the previous filing must be published.
- First publication must begin within thirty (30) days of the date the statement was filed in the County Clerk's Office. Proof of publication must be filed in the County Clerk's Office.
- Please check with the newspaper to see if they will forward the original to our office for filing.
- Renewals that have NO changes from the previous statement do not require publication
Publication required once per week for four consecutive weeks in one of the adjudicated newspapers listed below:
For Further Information
To find out more about opening a small business in Sonoma County, please visit the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, Business Resources website
Sonoma County Clerk
County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters
2300 County Center Drive
Clerk-Recorder accepts payments by cash, checks, credit or debit cards.
Fictitious Business Name Applications and Forms
Fictitious Business Name Statement Application
Fictitious Business Names Addendum Page
Statement of Abandonment of Use of Fictitious Business Name
Fictitious Business Name Statement of Withdrawal From Partnership
Types of Business Ownership and Structure
List of newspapers authorized to publish public or legal notices.
Public Records Search
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