California Fictitious Name Registration & Renewal

Registration requirements for California business entities

Business entities that plan to use a name other than their legal business name may need to register an assumed name. Assumed name registration can take place at the state, local, or state and local levels of government. State specific registration information is available below.

Initial Application for Registration

Is registration mandatory?:

Registration of fictitious names is required. This applies to a sole proprietor seeking a business name that does not include his surname, a general partnership seeking a business name that does not include the surnames of all owners, and a business seeking a second "doing business as" name.

Does registration prevent others from using the name I choose?:

Fictitious name registration does not offer name protection.

  • DBAs are filed in the city or county of the principal place of business in California.
  • You may need to register in multiple jurisdictions.
  • If you need state-wide registration, consider filing a California trademark instead.
  • If you do not have a place of business in California, file with the Clerk of Sacramento County.
  • A notice of registration must be published once a week for four successive weeks within 30 days of registration.
Fact Checked:3/17/17

Renewal Filing


Renewal is generally due 5 years from the date of the most recent registration.

  • Any change in the facts set forth in your fictitious name registration (principal place of address, names and addresses of owners, nature of business, etc.) requires re-registration within 40 days of the change.
Fact Checked:3/17/17
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