Frequently Asked Questions – Fictitious Business Name

General

No, it does not reserve the name for your exclusive use. The filing is for consumer protection, and is a requirement under law. Applicants are responsible for verifying that the business name used is unique. The applicant is also responsible for verifying that the name does not violate any trademark protocols. The County Clerk's Office cannot refuse to file a fictitious business name statement because the name is already being used by someone else.

For more information regarding trademarks visit the US Patent and Trademark Office website

Fictitious business names that have been filed in Santa Barbara County can be searched using our online Fictitious Business Name Search .
It is the same thing. A fictitious business name is just another name for doing business as.
For information about requesting FBN Copy orders please visit our FBN Copy Order page.
Non-profit corporations/associations/organizations are not required to file ( BPC 17911 ). For more information, please seek legal advice.
A fictitious business name statement shall be filed with the clerk of the county in which the registrant has his or her principal place of business in this state. This does not preclude a person from filing a fictitious business name statement in a county other than that where the principal place of business is located. If the business is out of state, you must file with Sacramento County.
No. A Fictitious Business Name statement is valid for 5 years from the date of filing as long as all publication requirements have been met.
The address must be a physical address. It cannot be a PO Box or PMB. For mobile businesses, this is often where the books are kept. It is acceptable for the business address to be your home address.
The Santa Barbara County Clerk does not issue business licenses. Please see the business license page for further information on business licenses.

Publishing

The Fictitious Business Name must be published, by the registrant, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the principal place of business is located within 30 days after filing.

The first publication must appear in the paper within the 30th day after filing. Newspapers require lead-time before publication, and it is your responsibility to meet the newspaper deadline so that publication occurs in time. If you miss the publishing deadline, you must re-file with us, paying all fees again.

Publication requirements are once a week for four successive weeks. Our Publishing page shows newspapers that circulate in the area the business is to be conducted.

An affidavit showing the publication of the statement must be filed with us within 30 days after completion of publication.

No. You are only required to publish in one newspaper.

Renewals

You must complete a new FBN statement. Visit our Renewal Filing page for further information on renewing a fictitious business name statement.
Fictitious Business Names can be searched online using our Fictitious Business Name Search . If you need a copy of your previous filing please visit our FBN Copy Order page for instructions and forms.

Changes/Transfers/Abandonments

The statement of Abandonment or Withdrawal shall be executed in the same manner as a fictitious business name statement and shall be filing in the same county the original FBN statement was filed and published in the same manner This can only be filed for an active FBN statement. For further information visit our Abandonment or Withdrawal Filing page.
A change to the information on a Fictitious Business Name statement would require a new filing and republishing in the newspaper.
A fictitious business name statement cannot be transferred. An active statement can be abandoned by the owner listed on the FBN statement and a new filing can be completed the new owner. Visit our Abandonment or Withdrawal page for further information on abandoning fictitious business name statement.