Fictitious business name Los Angeles refers to someone doing business in the city under a name that isn't their personal given name, the names of their partners, or their registered business name. A fictitious business name can also be called a DBA, which stands for "doing business as."

Filing a Statement

In California, all entrepreneurs operating under a fictitious business name have to file a fictitious business name statement with the county clerk or registrar where their main business operations are based. Exceptions to this include non-profits, organizations, and associations.

You need to submit the document no more than 40 days after you start doing business with the fictitious name.

Conducting a Name Search

Before you register, perform a search to confirm that the DBA you'd like to use is available and doesn't conflict with any existing fictitious names. You can find this information by initiating a search in person, on the internet, or by mail.

If you want to search for your business name online, visit the Los Angeles County Registrar's website, where you have the option of searching through existing fictitious business names for free.

To perform the search by mail, ask for a name search by sending a letter to Business Filings and Registration, P.O. Box 1208, Norwalk, CA 90650. In your letter, include:

  • Your desired business name
  • Your business address
  • A non-refundable fee of $5
  • A stamped, self-addressed envelope

You can also initiate a search in person by visiting the Los Angeles County Registrar LAX District office. You can request a search between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Submit an Application

To get an application form for a fictitious business name statement, visit the Los Angeles County Registrar's website and go to the "Document Examples" section. Alternatively, pick the application up in person at the Los Angeles County district office.

To complete the application, you should:

  • Enter the fictitious name of the business and its location
  • Note the structure of the business
  • Include the street address for the principal place of business
  • Give details of all owners and their residential addresses
  • Sign the application form

Once the form is complete, mail it to the Los Angeles County Registrar's office or deliver it personally between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Note that you have to pay a filing fee of $26 for a fictitious business name statement application. In addition, the registrar only accepts applications accompanied by a Notarized Affidavit of Identity form. If you're submitting the application on behalf of someone else, you must show valid identification and complete a Notarized Affidavit of Identity and Agent form.

Publishing Your Statement

After you've filed your fictitious business name statement, California law states that you must print the statement in a newspaper of general circulation in Los Angeles County. Go to the Los Angeles County Registrar's website and click on the publications tab to find out which newspapers you can use.

Bear in mind that the statement must be published on four consecutive weeks.

Business Taxes

If you're conducting business in Los Angeles, you have to apply to the city's Office of Finance to obtain a Business Tax Registration Certificate (BTRC). Depending on the kind of business you run, you may also have to register for state and federal taxes.

To apply for a BTRC, you should include:

  • Your business's employee identification number
  • Details of your business's activities
  • Your DBA name
  • Your legal business name
  • Business type
  • Main business address
  • Business start date

You will receive confirmation via email after you've finished the online application. Then, you can use your BTRC number to file your taxes with the city.

Expiration

After five years, your fictitious business name statement will expire. If you want to renew your statement, you must pay a fee of $26 to renew your registration.

You can update your fictitious business name statement before it expires online by going to the Fictitious Business Name Statement Renewal page.

However, if you stop doing business under your fictitious business name before your statement runs out, you have to inform the registrar. You must also publish this statement.

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