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.
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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Applications and Forms
- File Fictitious Business Name Online
- Application for Fictitious Business Name(PDF 276 kB)
- Fictitious Business Name Statement Optional Addendum Page(PDF 92 kB)
- Online Replacement Fictitious Business Name Form(PDF 269 kB)
- Statement of Abandonment of Use of Fictitious Business Name(PDF 171 kB)
- Statement of Withdrawal from Partnership Operating Under Fictitious Business Name(PDF 155 kB)
Who must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement
- Anyone doing business for profit under a fictitious name, as governed by California 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.
- 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
- 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
Clerk-Recorder accepts payments by cash, checks, credit or debit cards.
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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.