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Form a California DBA



LegalZoom makes registering your business name a quick, painless process. A DBA statement, or Doing Business As, is what you need to open a bank account and process transactions using the name of your venture. And yes, a fictitious business name is the same thing as a DBA. Let LegalZoom get rid of the hassle so you can get to work!



CALIFORNIA STATUTORY GUIDELINES

LegalZoom.com customizes your legal DBA filing to comply with local requirements, no matter where you live. However, if you're interested in the specifics, they are listed below.

When filing a DBA in California, certain names are prohibited. Corporation, Incorporated, LLC, or any of their abbreviations cannot be used, unless the person is a company/LLC organized under California Law. It is also important to note that "Company," "Limited," and their abbreviations are acceptable. Prohibited businesses include non-profit corporations and REITs. In California, if you fail to file, you cannot sue until you do, which can cause problems (i.e. statute of limitations). Any person who executes, files, or publishes a DBA knowing that such a statement is false, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, if convicted, can be fined.

When filing a DBA in California, there are certain items that are necessary concerning the applicant. The name and address of the business is necessary. In California, it is acceptable for the business to be out of state. If the registrant is an individual, the full name and address is required. If the registrant is a partnership or other association, the full name and address of each general partner is required. If the registrant is an LLC, one must provide the name listed in the Articles of Organization and one must state the organization. If the registrant is a business trust, the name and address of each trustee is required. If the registrant is a corporation, the name as listed in the Articles of Incorporation is required along with the state of incorporation. The nature of the business is also required whether it is an individual registrant, general partnership, limited partnership, LLC, unincorporated association, corporation, business trust, co-partnership, a husband and wife, or a joint venture. In addition, the date that the business was first transacted under the DBA is required. In California, the filing must take place within forty (40) days from the commencement of business under that name, but this does not apply if one has not yet started transacting business. A signature is required by the individual, a general partner (for partnerships, limited partnerships, co-partnerships, joint ventures, and unincorporated businesses), a manager or officer (LLC, corporations), or a trustee (business trust). If the statement being executed by a trustee in bankruptcy, failure to file would preclude the maintenance of an action to recover sums due to the bankrupt. If the statement is being executed by a conservator, executor or administrator, failure to file would preclude the maintenance of an action to recover sums due to the conservatee or deceased person. If the statement is being executed by an assignee or purchaser of a business, failure to file would preclude the maintenance of an action to recover sums due to the assignee or purchaser by reason of the assignment. The name of the person doing business will be stated immediately prior to bankruptcy, conservatorship, death or assignment, or at the time they ceased doing business, and the following statement must be added: "This statement has been executed pursuant to Section 17919 of the Business and Professions Code."

From a procedural standpoint, one must file in the county of the principal place of business or, if out of state, in Sacramento County. Publication must occur within thirty (30) days of filing in a paper or general circulation in either the county of the principal place of business or, if no newspaper is available, in an adjoining county. If one is out of state, one must publish in Sacramento County for four (4) successive weeks. Also, an affidavit of publishing must be filed with the County Clerk within thirty (30) days after the completion of the publishing.

It is important to note that re-filings do not need to be published, unless information has changed or one misses the forty (40) day deadline. In California, a DBA expires five (5) years from the date of filing. A change in any of the items above requires a new filing within forty (40) days of the change, except for changes in residence addresses or in the event that a partner leaves if that partner files a statement of withdrawal. There must also be a notice of the expiration date on the form.