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More Information About Fictitious Business Names

Purpose of the Fictitious Business Name Statement

The purpose of the Fictitious Business Name Statement (FBN) is to protect those dealing with individuals or partnerships doing business under fictitious business names and it is not intended to confer any right or advantage on individuals or firms that fail to comply with the law. The filing of a fictitious business name certificate is designed to make available to the public the identities of persons doing business under the fictitious business name. (B&P Code §17900)

The filing of any fictitious business name statement by a person required to file such statement pursuant to B&P Code §17910 shall establish a rebuttable presumption that the registrant has the exclusive right to use as a trade name the fictitious business name, as well as any confusingly similar trade name, in the county in which the statement is filed, if the registrant is the first to file such a statement containing the fictitious business name in that county, and is actually engaged in a trade or business utilizing such fictitious business name or a confusingly similar name in that county. The rebuttable presumption created by this section shall be one affecting the burden of producing evidence. (B&P Code §14411)

Fictitious Business Name Statements are Public Record

The County Clerk is authorized to furnish summaries or compilations FBN filings to anyone upon request and payment of a fee. To purchase this information or for a list of who purchases this data contact the County Clerk. (B&P Code §17928)

To Submit an Application:

A Fictitious Business Name Statement Application Form is available from the Santa Cruz County Clerk located at 701 Ocean Street, Room 210, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, or online at www.sccoclerk.com.

A physical address must be stated for the business and a physical/home address for the business owner. A post office box or mail drop may be used as a mailing address only.

It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that all information on the application form is correct and readable. Any error made on a filed Fictitious Business Name Statement cannot be corrected.

A copy of the Articles of Incorporation filed with the California Secretary of State must be submitted with applications for businesses conducted by a corporation. The names of all Officers or Board of Directors of the Corporation must be indicated on the Articles of Incorporation. On the application the name of the corporation should be entered as the registered owner, and the physical corporate address given.

A copy of the Non-Profit Certificate filed with the State must be submitted for businesses conducted by a non-profit. The names of all officers must be indicated on the certificate. (Non-profits may, but are not required, to file this statement.)

A copy of the Certificate of Organization filed with the State must be submitted for businesses conducted by a Limited Liability Company. The names of all general partners/manager(s) must be indicated on the Certificate. On the application the Limited Liability Company should be entered as the registered owner.

A copy of the Certificate for Limited Partnerships must be submitted with the application. On the application the names of all the general partners must be shown as registered owners, not the name of the partnership.

All corporations, LLCs and LPs filed in another state or country must register with the California Secretary of State - Foreign Corporation Division, and a copy of the Foreign Filing Certificate must be provided. For additional information contact the Secretary of State at (916)-657-5448.

Businesses being conducted by a trust must show the name and residence address of each trustee as the owners, not the name of the trust.

Fees:

The filing fee for a Fictitious Business Name Statement with one business name and one business owner is $40.00.There is an additional fee of $7.00 for each additional business name, owner and/or partner. At the time of filing 3 copies of the FBN statement will be given to you: a customer copy, a copy for the newspaper and a certified copy for the bank. Additional copies may be obtained at a cost of $5.00 each.

Expiration:

Fictitious Business Name Statements expire 5 years from the date of filing or 40 days after any change in facts as shown in the original statement, other than the residence address of the registered owner. (B&P Code §17920)

Abandonments & Withdrawals:

Forms, information and instructions regarding Abandonment of, or Withdrawal from a Fictitious Business Name may be obtained from the County Clerk.

Proof of Publication:

The Fictitious Business Name Statement must be published in a locally adjudicated newspaper by the registered owner. An adjudicated newspaper is a newspaper Court-Approved for publication of legal notices. See list below of adjudicated newspapers in Santa Cruz County.

  • The statement must be published within 30 days of filing.
  • The statement must be published once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks.
  • An affidavit showing the publication dates of the statement shall be filed with the county clerk where the fictitious business name statement was filed within 30 days after the completion of the publication. This is the responsibility of the registered owner. You can make arrangements to have the newspaper send this proof of publication to us.

Failure to comply with the above time limits will invalidate your Fictitious Business Name Statement filing.