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Fictitious Business Names

Consumer Scam Alert!

Sonoma County business owners have received solicitations from a private company encouraging them to renew their Fictitious Business Name Statements for a fee of $169.00. Business owners can deal directly with the County Clerk’s Office when filing. 

Important Notice

Important Information County Clerk-Recorder staff cannot perform research or identify which documents you may be interested in purchasing.  To purchase a document, you must provide the document number of the document you wish to obtain. 

Change in Filing Requirements effective 1/1/2024

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 878, Chaptered on 6/29/2023 and effective January 1, 2024, the Business and Professions Code Sections 17913, 17919, 17920, 17922, and 17923 was amended to remove the registered owner/registrant’s residence address from all Fictitious Business Name (FBN) statement filings and replace it with the business mailing address for privacy purposes. This includes all FBN filing types: original, renewals, abandonments, and withdrawal FBN filings, as well as the Proof of Publication.  The proper FBN filing form must be used or it will be returned for correction.

Search our online Index of Public Records. Fictitious Business Names, Official Public Records, Professional Registrations and more. Search Index now

Who must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement

∗ May also be filed in other counties as long as the requirements for filing in the county of principal place of business have been met

General Information

  • If filing a Fictitious Business Name in the office, the individual filing the statement is required by law to show valid, government issued ID.
  • Be certain the information in the statement is correct and complete before filing it.
  • No changes can be made to the statement once it has been filed.
  • If the statement is renewed and any information changes, including owner residence address, publication is required. 
  • Any changes (except owner address) require the applicant to file a new FBN statement within 40 days of the change, pay the applicable fees and publish within 45 days of the updated filing.
  • All information contained in the statement is a Public record, including your residence address.
    • Anyone can purchase copies of the statement
  • The Statement will expire after 5 years
    • An expiration reminder notice will be sent to the mailing address on the Statement
  • Name must be abandoned if no longer in business by filing statement of abandonment, paying $31.00 fee, and publication
  • State Law requires the disclosure of actual street address for the place of business.
  • Methods of Doing Business
  • Publication Requirements
  • List of Adjudicated Newspapers in Sonoma County

Filing Fees

  • Fictitious Business Name Statement
    • $55.00 for the first business name and first owner name
    • $9.00 for each additional business or owner name
  • Statement of Abandonment - $31.00
  • Withdrawal from Partnership - $31.00

About Business Names

  • Filing a Fictitious Business Name Statement does not reserve the name for your exclusive use.
  • It is a consumer protection
  • It is a requirement under Business & Professions Code § 17900.
  • The County Clerk-Recorder cannot refuse to file a fictitious business name statement because the name is already being used by someone else.
  • If there is a conflict between business owners using the same or similar names, it becomes a legal matter between the business owners.

Completing the Form

  • Please read the instructions on the form carefully. Changes to the form cannot be made after the statement is filed.
  • Business Address
    • State Law requires the disclosure of actual street addresses for the place of business
    • Use the address of the physical location of the principal place of business
      • Do not use a mailing address such as a P.O. Box, postal suite, postal drop box, mailing suite, etc.
      • If you operate the business out of your home, use the home address
    • If no street address is assigned, give the exact location of the business plus the rural route, slip number, or other number assigned
  • Registered Owner Address
    • The registered owner may provide the business mailing address.
    • For Corporations or LLC's:
      • Registrant address can be the address listed on the registration paperwork with the Secretary of State
      • The State of Incorporation must be listed
      • Foreign Corporations or LLC's must be registered with the California Secretary of State 

For Further Information

To find out more about opening a small business in Sonoma County, please visit the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, Business Resources website

Payment Information

Payment Options
Clerk-Recorder accepts payments by cash, checks, credit or debit cards.

Public Records Search

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Search Our Online Index of Public Records: Official Public Records, Fictitious Business Names, Professional Registrations, CEQA Filings

Before Searching Older Records

When searching for a record prior to 2010, remember to use abbreviations; after January 1, 2010, search under the exact name of the person or company.