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How to Get a DBA ( Fictitious Business Name ) and when you need to file a DBA in California

 
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How to Get a DBA ( Fictitious Business Name ) and when you need to file a DBA in California

Prepared By: Melissa C. Marsh, Los Angeles Business Attorney
Written: March 2009
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What is a DBA
A fictitious business name is commonly referred to as a DBA, which means "doing business as..." In California, Business and Professions Code Section 17918 provides that:

"No person transacting business under a fictitious business name contrary to the provisions of this chapter, or his assignee, may maintain any action upon or on account of any contract made, or transaction had, in the fictitious business name in any court of this state until the fictitious business name statement has been executed, filed, and published as required by this chapter. For the purposes of this section, the failure to comply with subdivision (b) of Section 17917 does not constitute transacting business contrary to the provisions of this chapter."

When You Need To Register a DBA
Every California business, including corporations and limited liability companies, is required to register a Fictitious Business Name (DBA) in the county where the business is located if the business is using a name other than its owner's legal given name, or the full legal corporate or LLC name (with its identifier e.g., Inc., Corp., LLC) as filed and recorded by the California Secretary of State.

For example, if your corporation name is Your Legal Corner, Inc., and your corporation is doing business only under the name Your Legal Corner, Inc. then you do not need to register a DBA. However, if the corporation wants to operate under the name Your Legal Corner (without the Inc.), then the corporation must register a DBA under the name Your Legal Corner. Similarly, if Your Legal Corner, Inc. wants to do business under the name Legal Corner the corporation will need to file a DBA for Legal Corner.

How to Register a DBA

Step One: Search.
To register a DBA you should first search the fictitious business names in your county to make sure the name you are intending to use is available. Below we have provided links to search the fictitious business name registry in your county (where available). You can search the DBAs filed in your county below.

Step Two: Prepare The Fictitious Business Name Statement.
After a search is performed, you will need to complete the fictitious business name form provided by your county. Most counties allow a business to register up to three fictitious business names at a time. Typically the DBA form will require you to provide the following information:

  1. Your name and address
  2. Your selected fictitious business name(s)
  3. Your business address and mailing address
  4. The full name of the registered owner(s) - the hardest part of the form as you need to make sure a corporation, llc, or partnership is denoted correctly
  5. Your Corporation or LLC Identification Number as provided by the Secretary of State, if the DBA is for a corporation or LLC; and
  6. The type of business you have (Corporation, LLC, Partnership, etc...)

Step Three: Publish The Statement.
Within 30 days of filing the Fictitious Business Statement, you are required to have the DBA statement published once a week for four (4) successive weeks in a paper of general circulation in the county where the business is operating. Renewals do not require a re-publication.

We can Prepare, File, and Publish Your Fictitious Business Name for just $250 plus costs.
Just need it prepared, the cost is only $175, and we will give you detailed instructions on where to file and how to get it published. Call: 818-849-5206.

Melissa C. Marsh, a California lawyer, can save you both time and money by properly preparing and filing your DBA within 3 days and using her resources to accomplish the 4 week publication. The DBA Service includes:

  1. Name availability check to see if the name is available.
  2. Preparation of the Fictitious Business Name Statement.
  3. Forwarding the prepared statement to you for your signature.
  4. Filing of the Fictitious Business Name Statement.
  5. Publication of your fictitious name in a legally adjudicated newspaper for 4 consecutive weeks.
  6. Sending you the certified copies and the receipt for payment for publication so you can open a bank account.
  7. Filing and providing you with the proof of publication, as required.

Unsure if you really need an attorney to file and publish your DBA. See our testimonials page for how we saved one client both time and money.

"I went to Melissa Marsh's office to form a California corporation, but after a consultation I was relieved to hear that I could just operate as a sole proprietor until my business got going. I then used Legal Zoom to file a DBA, but after two errors and multiple delays, I called Ms. Marsh. She saw me the next day and my DBA was prepared and filed that same day for only $20 more than Legal Zoom was charging. She even told me how to get my money back. Highly Recommended." Chris Hysell of HSK in Pasadena, CA - 12/5/2008

To have Melissa C. Marsh, a California lawyer, properly prepare and file your DBA within 3 days and use her resources to accomplish the 4 week publication call: 818-849-5206 or Send us an Email.

To Search The Fictitious Business Name (DBA) Registry In Your County:


Related Articles and Legal Services:

Ms. Marsh provides various low cost In House Counsel Plans designed specifically for the small business owner, and if you just have a few simple questions she provides a Telephone Consultation for as little as $85.

© 2009 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved.

 
 

If you have additional questions or need specific legal advice tailored to your specific needs, please schedule a low cost Telephone Consultation.
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Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site was prepared by Melissa C. Marsh for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information provided in my articles and alerts should not be relied upon, or used as a substitute for professional legal advice from an attorney you retain to advise or represent you. Your use of this Internet site does not create an attorney- client relationship. Transmission of this article is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. All uses of the contents of this site, other than personal uses, are prohibited. You may print or email a copy of any information posted on this web site for your own personal, non-commercial, use, but you may not publish any of the articles or posts on this web site without the Express Written Permission of Melissa C. Marsh.


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Located in Los Angeles, California, the Law Office of Melissa C. Marsh handles business law and corporation law matters as a lawyer for clients throughout Los Angeles including Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West LA as well as Riverside County, San Fernando, Ventura County, and Santa Clarita. Attorney Melissa C. Marsh has considerable experience handling business matters both nationally and internationally. We routinely assist our clients with incorporation, forming a California corporation, forming a California llc, partnership, annual minutes, shareholder meetings, director meetings, getting a taxpayer ID number (EIN), buying a business, selling a business, commercial lease review, employee disputes, independent contractors, construction, and personal matters such as preparing a will, living trust, power of attorney, health care directive, and more.