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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.
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.
Search our online Index of Public Records. Fictitious Business Names, Official Public Records, Professional Registrations and more. Search Index now
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.