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Fictitious Business Names

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 $169.00. Business owners can deal directly with the County Clerk’s Office when filing. 

Important Notice

Important Information County Clerk-Recorder staff cannot perform research or identify which documents you may be interested in purchasing.  To purchase a document, you must provide the document number of the document you wish to obtain. 

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Who must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement

∗ 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

General Information

  • 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.
  • If the statement is renewed and any information changes, including owner residence address, publication is required. 
  • Any changes (except owner residence address) require the applicant to file a new FBN statement within 40 days of the change, pay the applicable fees and publish within 30 days of the updated filing.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Methods of Doing Business
  • Publication Requirements
  • List of Adjudicated Newspapers in Sonoma County

Filing Fees

  • Fictitious Business Name Statement
    • $55.00 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-Recorder 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 

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

Payment Information

Payment Options
Clerk-Recorder accepts payments by cash, checks, credit or debit cards.

Public Records Search

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Search Our Online Index of Public Records: Official Public Records, Fictitious Business Names, Professional Registrations, CEQA Filings

Before Searching Older Records

When searching for a record prior to 2010, remember to use abbreviations; after January 1, 2010, search under the exact name of the person or company.