1. Fictitious Business Name Statement
2. California Corporation Filing Requirements

CA filing requirements depend upon the structure of your business. If you are conducting business with a fictitious name, you must submit a Fictitious Business Name Statement and complete the associated formalities. All corporations in California must pay the franchise tax and file an annual report.

Fictitious Business Name Statement

Filing the FBN Statement

  • If you set up a business in California with a fictitious business name (FBN), you must submit a fictitious business name statement no later than 40 days of starting such business.
  • You must file a new FBN statement on or before the expiry of the previously filed FBN statement.
  • The FBN statement must be accompanied by an Affidavit of Identity of the county where the main office of your business is located.
  • If your business headquarters are located outside California, you should file the statement with the clerk of Sacramento County.
  • In case of corporations, LLCs, and partnership firms, you must also submit a proof of good standing issued by the secretary of state.
  • You can complete an application for FBN statement online, but the downloaded application must be filed with the County Clerk and Recorder's Office in person.
  • After filing your application, you will receive a reference number. You can then collect your Fictitious Business Name Statement from the County Clerk and Recorder's Office.
  • You must pay a registration fee of $53 for one business name and $10 for each additional name.
  • You must disclose the physical addresses of your business and the owners' residences.

Newspaper Notice

Within 30 days of filing a FBN statement, you must publish the statement in a local newspaper of the county. The newspaper chosen for such publication should be of reasonable circulation in the area of your business. You must publish the statement once a week continuously for four weeks. There must be a minimum gap of five days between the dates of publication.

Affidavit of Newspaper Publication

  • Within 30 days of completing the publication, you must file an affidavit stating that the publication has been done.
  • In case of subsequent filing of FBN statements after the expiration of previous ones, no newspaper notice is required unless there is any change in information. However, the refiling must be done within 40 days after the previous statement has expired.
  • You will be given the publication instructions along with the list of authorized newspapers when you file the FBN statement.

Expiration of FBN Statement

An FBN statement expires after five years of filing.

If any change occurs in the material information provided in the earlier statement, the statement expires after 40 days of such change. However, the following changes do not cause the statement to expire:

  • Any change in residential address of the registrant if it's different from the business address
  • Withdrawal of a partner (from a partnership business) whose residential address is different from the business address

The FBN statement expires if you stop using the fictitious business name and file a statement of abandonment.

Statement of Abandonment

  • When you stop doing business under a fictitious business name, you must file a statement of abandonment.
  • The abandonment statement must be filed with the county clerk where you filed the FBN statement.
  • You must publish a newspaper notice and submit an affidavit of such publication in the same manner as in the case of an FBN statement.

Withdrawal of General Partner

  • A general partner withdrawing from a partnership firm which is doing business under a fictitious business name may file a statement of withdrawal.
  • The statement of withdrawal must be filed with the county clerk where the FBN statement is filed for the partnership.
  • The requirements of newspaper publication and affidavit submission also apply to the statement of withdrawal in the same manner as they apply to an FBN statement.
  • If the withdrawing partner duly follows the withdrawal process, the partnership firm's FBN statement does not expire by reason of such withdrawal.

California Corporation Filing Requirements

  • Corporations must keep the corporate bylaws and minutes of the board and shareholder meetings at their main business office.
  • Corporations must file an annual report and pay the franchise tax on an ongoing basis.
  • Corporations with employees must obtain a federal tax identification number (EIN).
  • California does not require a separate, state level tax identification number.
  • Most of the businesses would require local licenses and permits.
  • California recognizes the S-corporation election made with the IRS. You need not make a separate state level election.

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