California – DBA

File a California DBA

In California a sole proprietorship is permitted to allow an individual person to run a business alone. If the business owner decides to use another name, also called a fictitious name, a Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed in the county where the business is located. No DBA documents are required to be filed with the secretary of state. In addition all earnings are claimed through the personal taxes.
A foreign corporation or corporation registered in the state of California doing business under a different name other than the corporation must also register the DBA fictitious name with the state.

Why File a DBA
A bank account cannot be open in the fictitious name until the DBA is filed with the state.
Filing a DBA allows the business owner to file a lawsuit if another business uses the same of similar name as the registered fictitious name.
A registered fictitious name also allows advertising, contracts and stationary in the DBA name.

Advantages of a California DBA
- Filing the DBA is quite inexpensive
- Very little paperwork is required to file the DBA.
- A DBA does not have to pay a franchise tax
- A DBA can be easily dissolved

Disadvantages of a California DBA
The owner is responsible for any business lawsuit that could possibly ruin the owner personally.
Not as many tax breaks and incentives in the state of California as there are for corporations.

Choosing a DBA Name
There are specific requirements in the state of California when deciding on a fictitious name:

A DBA cannot include the words corporation, LLC, incorporated or any derivation thereof.
A DBA can include the words company, limited or any derivation.
Non-profit companies or REITS cannot file as DBAs

Information Required for Filing a California DBA
Prior to filing a DBA with the state of California the following information is required:
- Owner’s name
- Address of the business
- DBA name
- Description of the business
- The date the business was first transacted as a DBA

Filing of the DBA must take place within 40 days of the fictitious name being used assuming business is being transaction.

Within 30 days of filing the DBA, the fictitious name must be published in a newspaper in the county where business is taking placFiling Location

If filing the DBA by mail send the DBA filing form, and $10.00 filing fee along with a self addressed envelope to:
Secretary of State
Certification and Records
PO Box 944260
Sacramento CA 94244-2600

Or if filing in person
Secretary of State’s Sacramento Office
1500 11th Street
3rd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Need help registering your California DBA? Click Here