Fictitious Business Names

The Fresno County Clerk offers all services on an appointment-only basis. Appointments are scheduled online only.

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What is a Fictitious Business Name?

A FBN Statement is a public record intended to make available to the public the identities of persons doing business under the FBN. FBN filings are required pursuant to California State Business & Professions Code Sections 14411 and 17900.

A FBN statement is not a business license. The County Clerk does not issue business licenses, nor can we advise you regarding which licenses or permits are required for your business. If you are operating within the unincorporated areas of Fresno County please contact the Fresno County Auditor Controller for business license information. If you are operating within a city please contact the city you will be operating in for additional information.

How Do I Apply?

  • Download Form and Instructions(PDF, 1MB)
  • By Mail (Recommended): 2221 Kern Street, Fresno, California 93721. Filings are processed within 5 business days of receipt. Five days processing time does not include delivery time to and from our office.
  • In Person (By Appointment Only). Applicants are not required to file in-person. A limited number of appointments are available for customers requiring immediate service. Schedule your appointment
  • Fees: $35 for the first name and $7.00 for each additional name and/or registrant. See Fee Schedules for additional fees. Make checks payable to Fresno County Clerk.
  • Original or “wet” signatures are required on all filings. Digital signatures are not accepted.

Who Should File?

  • Persons doing business for profit under a fictitious name (does not include surname in company name) or implies additional owners such as, “and Associates.”
  • Corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships, doing business under any name other than the exact name on record with the Secretary of State's Office.
  • The statement must be filed in county of principal place of business.
  • Non-profit corporations, organizations or associations are not required to file an FBN.

I would like to do business as a corporation or LLC. Are there additional steps I need to take? 

Yes, you will need to register your business with the California Secretary of State prior to filing as a corporation, LLC, or LP on your FBN. Additionally, if you choose to use words such as “Corporation, Corp., Incorporated, Inc., LLC” etc., in your business name you must be registered as a corporation or LLC with the Secretary of State. Our office will request your SOS file number and articles of incorporation. If you do not have an active file number your application may be rejected.

Do I have to publish the FBN Statement?

New FBN filings and renewals with changes must be published by the registrant in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the principal place of business is located. See List of Adjudicated Newspapers(PDF, 554KB) for reference.

What if I forget to publish my Fictitious Business Name?

You will need to file a new application with the County Clerk and pay the appropriate fee.

When Should I Apply?

FBN statements are to be filed no later than forty (40) days from the start of conducting business.

FBN statements are valid for five (5) years. You must re-file every 5 years and pay current fees, even if there are no changes. You are not required to republish a renewal if the information does not change. FBN statements have a 40-day grace period following the date of expiration for filing a renewal. Submit your Application for Fictitious Business Name(PDF, 1MB)  by US Mail to 2221 Kern Street, Fresno, California 93721. Applications are processed within 3 – 5 business days after receipt, not including delivery time. Please include a phone number along with your application so our office can contact you if needed. Please note that if you choose to enter your phone number on the FBN Application it will become public information.

How do I make changes to an existing FBN?

If any change occurred in the facts of the original statement, other than a change of residence address for owner, partner, officer etc., a new FBN Statement must be filed and published in a newspaper of general circulation.

If the business is sold, the original owner must file and publish a Statement of Abandonment(PDF, 715KB).

Other Frequently Asked Questions(PDF, 88KB)