FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAMES

 

WHAT IS IT?

This section will tell you how a Fictitious Business Name is defined, as well as who should file a Fictitious Business Name Statement.

The Definition of Fictitious Business Name is:

A business name that DOES NOT include the surname of the individual owner, AND EACH of the partners or the nature of the business is not clearly evident by the name.

For example:

Doing business under a name like:

Eisenberg & Yandall Associates
or
Eisenberg & Yandall Sons

would require a Fictitious Business Name be registered, even though the surname of the owner is stated, the words following the surname suggest other owners that are not specifically named.

HOWEVER, doing business under a name like:

Teresa Fiske Plumbing

would NOT require a Fictitious Business Name be registered, because the owner (Teresa Fiske) is conducting business under her legal name.

In the case of a corporation, a Fictitious Business Name is ANY name OTHER than the EXACT corporate name as stated in the articles of incorporation.

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WHEN IS IT REQUIRED?

Any person who regularly transacts business for profit, UNDER A FICTITIOUS NAME, in the County of San Diego is required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Recorder/County Clerk, within 40 days of first transacting business.

PLEASE NOTE: Although registration of a Fictitious Business Name is required, this office serves ONLY as the central depository of these names, neither approving nor disapproving a particular name and CANNOT accept any responsibility for any omissions, similarities, or duplications among the Fictitious Business Names on file. Fictitious Business Names are filed ONLY in the county where the business is located. State-wide registries do NOT exist.

All prospective registrants are cautioned that REGISTRATION OF A FICTITIOUS NAME DOES NOT GUARANTEE EXCLUSIVE USE OF THAT NAME.

For information on how to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement, click FILE IN PERSON OR FILE BY MAIL.

For information on checking the index for an existing Fictitious Business Name, click SEARCH IN PERSON, SEARCH ONLINE or SEARCH BY MAIL.

If you need to speak with a staff member, call (619) 237-0502. Press 0. Se habla Español.

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FILE IN PERSON

Fictitious Business Name FILING IN-PERSON

For a definition of a Fictitious Business Name or information on who is required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement, click Fictitious Business Name WHAT IS IT?

For information on how to search the Fictitious Business Names index, in order to determine if a particular business name is currently registered or, the name of the owner or owners of a particular business, click SEARCH ONLINE, SEARCH IN PERSON OR SEARCH BY MAIL.

A Fictitious Business Name may be filed by mail or in person; however, because of its importance, WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO REGISTER IN PERSON.

If you are unable to appear in person and would like information on how to file a Fictitious Business Name by mail, click Fictitious Business Name FILE BY MAIL.

To file a Fictitious Business Name Statement in person:

  •  Search the "Index of Fictitious Business Names" located at the Recorder/County Clerk�s office or online to ensure the name you intend to file IS NOT already registered.
  • Complete the filing form provided.
  • Present the completed form, along with payment and the registrant or agent will be required to present valid government issued photo identification to adequately determine identity at the customer counter. A copy of the Statement will be returned to you.  

 

The fee to register a Fictitious Business Name is:

$42.00 for the first business name and owner
AND
$5.00 for each additional business name OR owner name.

Payment may be made with cash or by check/Money Order made payable to the "San Diego Recorder/Clerk". American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa Debit card payments are accepted at any of our office locations with a $2.50 surcharge per transaction.

You will receive an automatic RENEWAL REMINDER which provides you notification prior to the five year re-registration deadline. A five year renewal reminder will automatically be sent to the address listed on the original statement.

You may file a Fictitious Business Name Statement at any of our office locations:

Business hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

For further information on hours and locations, with directions, click Phone Numbers/Locations.

If you need to speak with a staff member, please call
(619) 237-0502, Press 0. Se habla Español.

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FILE BY MAIL

Because of its importance, the Recorder/County Clerk strongly recommends that you register a Fictitious Business Name in person whenever possible. This office CANNOT accept responsibility for any filing attempted by mail.

TO FILE BY MAIL complete an official Fictitious Business Name filing form in black ink only.

Filing forms are available at our offices or online. If you cannot access the form online you may call our office and one will be mailed to you. Send your completed form, along with your payment to:

Filing by Mail:

  • Search the "Index of Fictitious Business Names" online to ensure the name you intend to file IS NOT already registered.
  • Complete the filing form provided
  • Attach either a copy of your valid Government issued ID OR a notarized Certificate of Acknowledgement to the Fictitious Business Name statement.
  • Mail the completed form along with your payment to:
        San Diego Recorder/County Clerk Attn: FBN Section
        P.O. Box 121750
        San Diego, CA 92112-1750
  • A copy of the Statement will be returned to you

 

The fee to register a Fictitious Business Name is:

$42.00 for the first business name and owner
AND
$5.00 for each additional business name OR owner name.

Payment may be made by check or Money Order made payable to the "San Diego Recorder/Clerk".

You will receive an automatic RENEWAL REMINDER which provides you notification prior to the five year re-registration deadline. A five year renewal reminder will automatically be sent to the address listed on the original statement.

For information on hours and locations, with directions, click Phone Numbers/Locations.

If you need to speak with a staff member, please call (619) 237-0502, Press 0. Se habla Español.

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SEARCH IN PERSON

We recommend that you search the Fictitious Business Names Index in order to determine if a particular business name is currently registered or to find the name of the owner or owners of a particular business.

You may perform a search in person, online or by mail. Staffing levels DO NOT permit ANY search requests by telephone.

We always suggest you search the Index or file a Fictitious Business Name Statement in person at any one of our office locations. Business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

If you need to speak with a staff member, please call (619) 237-0502, Press 0. Se habla Español.

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SEARCH ONLINE

You can perform online searches of the unofficial index which is updated nightly. Click here.

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SEARCH BY MAIL

If you are unable to come to the Recorder/County Clerk's office, you may request a search or file a Fictitious Business Name Statement by mail.

To request a Fictitious Business Name search by mail, you must provide the EXACT business name and, if applicable, the owner name to be researched.

Send your request with check or money order made payable to:

San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk
P.O. Box 121750
San Diego, CA 92112-1750
Attn: FBN

Enclose $5.00 for each business or owner name to be researched and $2.00 for each copy of the statement requested plus $1.00 if certification is required.

We will conduct the search on your behalf and the response will typically be mailed within seven (7) business days from the date of receipt.

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ORDERING COPIES OF A FILED FBN

You may request copies of existing FBN Statements in person, online or by mail. The fees for copies are $2.00 per page AND $1.00 for certification if requested.

You may obtain copies of filed FBN Statements in person at any of our office locations. For Information on hours of business and directions to the offices, click PHONE#'s/LOCATIONS.

You may also mail your request with a check or money order made payable to:

San Diego Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk
P.O. Box 121750
San Diego, CA 92112-1750
ATTN: FBN

When you request copies by mail you MUST provide the EXACT business name and, if applicable, the owner name. The document(s) will typically be mailed to you within seven (7) business days from the date of receipt.

To search the FBN Index and order copies online please click here.

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