How to Register a “Doing Business As” or DBA Name in California

How to Register a “Doing Business As” or DBA Name in California

A “Doing Business As” (DBA), also known as a fictitious business name or a valid business name, is a business different from your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name for your limited liability company Name is (LLC) or Corporation In many states like California, business owners should use a DBA, if they plan to operate their own businesses using more than one name registered with their Business Licensing Authority. You must enter your DBA within 40 days of starting the business.

Preparing to Register Your DBA

Find out if you are required to register a DBA.

Despite the form of your business (sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or LLC), if you plan to operate your business differently with your actual name or existing corporate name, then you need to register for DBA.

For example, you may have registered your LLC with the state secretary of California as “every day car rental, a limited liability company”. However, if you want to add business activity, such as an automotive repair business, then you can use the DBA. Keep services separate from the public eye. Accordingly, you may wish to run a repair business under the “necessary repair” of the DBA.

If you operate a sole proprietorship, in which your surname (such as “Smith Accounting Service”) is, you do not have to register a DBA.

Locate the correct office.

There is no central registry of fictitious trading names at the state level. In this way, you will have to find and contact the office of the city or county clerk / recorder in the area where you do your business. To see the list of county clerks organized by the county, click here.

Conduct a business name search.

In most cases, you need to find the index of the city of your business or fictional cities to ensure that you do not want to register the DBA already. In some cities, like San Diego, you can do this search online, by mail, or in person.

To see an example of how to search online for San Diego County, click here.

Pull down and choose “Business name” from the “Please select” box. Then type in your proposed fictitious name in the empty box and click on “Enter”

Search can be done in 15 minutes.

Registering the DBA

Choose a method of registration.

After finding suitable office, you may have the option of registering your imaginary business name online, in-person or by mail. However, the availability of these options will depend on the office. You register by entering “Fictitious Business Details”

Be sure to bring the following information, which is required for registration: DBA which you want to register, your business address, your contact information and the first day of business

Many copies may be required to file a clerk. After certifying all the copies, the clerk will keep the original and will return copies to you.

Pay the filing fee.

The fee varies by county. For example, Almeida County charges $ 40, while San Diego County charges $ 42.

You may need to pay an additional fee for each additional owner or DBA listed on the statement.

File a name statement in the newspaper.

After entering your DBA, you will have to enter the statement of a fictitious business name in a newsletter. In particular, you will have to publish the statement within 30 days of entering the statement, and it should be published in the general public circulation in the county where the business name was entered.

The notice should be visible once in four weeks for four straight weeks.

Contact the office where you had filed your DBA registration to find the general circulation newspaper.

In most cases, the newspaper will charge a publication fee. The Santa Monica Daily Press, for example, charges $ 65.00 for publishing already filed DBA.

File an Affidavit of Publication.

After publishing the notice, you will have to submit an affidavit of publication as proof that you published your DBA. You will have to file an affidavit with the office where you registered your DBA. Some newspapers may file an affidavit on your behalf.


Before this can end, you should renew your DBA, which usually happens within five years. You must file a new fictitious business description with the appropriate office.

Unless you make a change in the statement, you will not need to republish again.

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