Updated: July 17, 2020
All Assessor/ Recorder/ County Clerk Office have been closed for in-person counter services.
In accordance with the County Health Officer order regarding the COVID-19, starting Monday July 6, 2020, we are closed to the public for all over-the-counter services at the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk's Office. Offices will remain closed until further notice from the County Health Officer. Online, mail, and phone services are available for your assistance.



GENERAL INFORMATION

A Fictitious Business Name ("FBN") 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 to 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 to 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.

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 County Clerk within 40 days of first transacting business.

A Fictitious Business Name may be filed in person or by mail with the County Clerk; however, because of its importance, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND for registrants to file IN PERSON.  If registrants are unable to appear in person, Fictitious Business Names may be filed BY MAIL

Fictitious Business Name forms are available at our office locations and online, and can be mailed to requesters after receiving the request by phone, mail, or e-mail.  Effective May 30, 2017, pursuant to Senate Bill 1467, the County of San Diego County Clerk's Office will require an Affidavit of Identity form to accompany all Fictitious Business Name statements; the affidavit is included in the Fictitious Business Name Statement filing form.  

PLEASE NOTE: Although registration of a Fictitious Business Name is required, the County Clerk's Office serves ONLY as the central depository of these names, neither approving nor disapproving a particular name, and CANNOT accept responsibility for 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.  To determine if a particular business name is currently registered or to research the name of the owner(s) of a particular business, you may conduct an FBN Records Search  in person and online, or request the information by mail for a fee.

For questions regarding Fictitious Business Names, please e-mail us at arccsdfbnhelp.fgg@sdcounty.ca.gov or contact us at (619) 237-0502 and press "0".  Se habla Español.

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FILING IN PERSON

To file a Fictitious Business Name Statement in person, please take the following actions and bring the following documents to any of our office locations  Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM (excluding holidays):

  • Conduct an FBN Records Search in person or online to ensure the name you intend to file is NOT already registered.
  • Complete the Fictitious Business Name Statement filing form in black or blue ink.  The form must be legible – no erasures or whiteouts.  Strikeovers are acceptable if accompanied with initials.  In the Affidavit of Identity form, Section 1 is required to be completed by the registrant; Section 2 (which requires a Notary Public) is required if filing by mail or through a third party, but can be substituted with a copy of the registrant's valid, government-issued photo identification; and Sections 3 and 4 are required if filing through a third party or by authorized agent.  Third parties and authorized agents filing on behalf of the registrant must show valid government-issued photo identification.  
  •  Valid government-issued photo identification such as a driver's license or passport.
  • Payment of $42.00 for the first business name and owner, and $5.00 for each additional business name or owner name.  The fees are payable by cash, check, money order, or credit/debit card (with an additional $2.50 surcharge for card payment).


After filing, you will receive an automatic renewal reminder prior to the five-year re-registration deadline at the address listed on the original statement.

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FILING BY MAIL

Because of its importance, the County Clerk's Office strongly recommends that Fictitious Business Name Statements be filed in person whenever possible.  The County Clerk's Office cannot accept responsibility for any filing attempted by mail.  For questions regarding the filing forms and/or submitting the forms correctly, please e-mail us at arccsdfbnhelp.fgg@sdcounty.ca.gov; completed forms CANNOT be filed by e-mail and WILL NOT be accepted since filings require original, wet-ink signatures.

To file a Fictitious Business Name Statement by mail, please take the following actions and send the following:

  • Conduct an FBN Records Search in person or online to ensure the name you intend to file is NOT already registered.
  • Complete the Fictitious Business Name Statement filing form in black or blue ink.  The form must be legible – no erasures or whiteouts.  Strikeovers are acceptable if accompanied with initials.  In the Affidavit of Identity form, Section 1 is required to be completed by the registrant; Section 2 (which requires a Notary Public) is required if filing by mail or through a third party, but can be substituted with a copy of the registrant's valid, government-issued photo identification; and Sections 3 and 4 are required if filing through a third party or by authorized agent.  Third parties and authorized agents filing on behalf of the registrant must provide a copy of their valid government-issued photo identification.  
  • Payment of $42.00 for the first business name and owner, and $5.00 for each additional business name or owner name.  Payment must be made by check or money order, made payable to "San Diego Recorder/County Clerk".

Please mail your documents and payment to:

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

A copy of the filed Fictitious Business Name Statement will be mailed to you.  After filing, you will receive an automatic renewal reminder prior to the five-year re-registration deadline at the address listed on the original statement.

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FBN RECORDS SEARCH

We recommend for prospective registrants to conduct an FBN Records Search in person at our offices or online to ensure the name you intend to file is NOT already registered.  The FBN Records Search database is updated nightly.

For a fee, you may also submit a request by mail for County Clerk staff to conduct an FBN Records Search on your behalf.  In the request, you must provide the EXACT business name and, if applicable, the owner name to be researched.  The fee for staff conducting FBN Records Search on behalf of requesters is $8.00 for each business or owner name, and payment must be made by check or money order payable to "San Diego Recorder/County Clerk".  Please allow 7 to 10 business days from the date of receipt to receive the search results. 

Please mail your request and payment to:

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

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REQUESTING COPIES OF FILED FBN

You may request copies of filed Fictitious Business Name Statements in person, by mail, and online.  The fee for a copy of each filing is $2.00 for the first page and $0.05 for each additional page, with certification of copies available for $1.00.

When requesting copies in person at our office locations, the fees are payable by cash, check, money order, or credit/debit card (with an additional $2.50 surcharge for card payment).

To request copies by mail, submit a request by mail and provide the EXACT business name and, if applicable, the owner name.  Payment must be made by check or money order payable to "San Diego Recorder/County Clerk".  Please allow 7 to 10 business days from the date of receipt to receive the search results.  Please mail your request and payment to:

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

To request copies online, conduct an FBN Records Search online then add your selected filings to the cart (this service requires the creation of an account).

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