Fictitious Business Name New Filing

Who can use this service?

Any registrant may file a Fictitious Business Name Statement when the principal place of business is located in the County of San Luis Obispo. 

This process does not preclude a person from filing a fictitious business name statement in a county other than that where the principal place of business is located, as long as the requirements of this section are also met. If the registrant has no place of business in this state, the registrant shall file with the Clerk of Sacramento County. Business and Professions Code Section 17915.

Is there a charge for this service?

Yes. Please refer to the Clerk-Recorder's Fee Schedule.

What is the process?

Step 1: Search the Fictitious Business Name Statement Index

Use the Self-Service to search the Fictitious Business Name Statement index to see if the business name you have chosen has not already been filed with the Clerk-Recorder's Office.   
 
The Clerk-Recorder’s Office does not check to see if the name is already on file and will not prevent someone from filing a duplicate or similar name.  It is your responsibility to check Fictitious Business Name index to ensure that you are not infringing on other business trademarks or common law rights.  (Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 14411, “The filing of any fictitious business name statement by a person required to file such statement pursuant to Section 17910 shall establish a rebuttable presumption that the registrant has the exclusive right to use as a trade name the fictitious business name, as well as any confusingly similar trade name, in the county in which the statement is filed, if the registrant is the first to file such a statement containing the fictitious business name in that county, and is actually engaged in a trade or business utilizing such fictitious business name or a confusingly similar name in that county.”)  Enforcement of this section is at the discretion of the business, not the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. 

Step 2: Submit Fictitious Business Name Statement

A Fictitious Business Name Statement filing in the County of San Luis Obispo can be completed one of three ways:

  1. Online via the Self-Service Portal to submit the information.   After submitting your information online, the registrant must come into one of our offices to complete the process within 30 days. Valid identification required.

  2. In-person at one of the Clerk-Recorder's Office in San Luis Obispo or Atascadero.

    If you are the registrant: When you arrive, use one of our kiosk computers in the lobby to fill out your application, then proceed to the counter to electronically sign the application and show valid identification.

    If you are not the registrant:  When you arrive, use one of our kiosk computers in the lobby to fill out the application, then proceed to the counter to show valid identification. You must present an original Fictitious Business Name Statement signed by the registrant.


  3. By mail via the application form. Mail the completed form to the Clerk Recorder’s Office at the address below. Must be accompanied with the appropriate fee.

          Mail completed form to:

County of San Luis Obispo Clerk-Recorder

1055 Monterey Street, Suite D120

San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Step 3: Publish Fictitious Business Name Statement

After filing the Fictitious Business Name Statement with Clerk-Recorder's Office, it must be published once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the County of San Luis Obispo. The first publication must commence within thirty (30) days of filing the Fictitious Business Name Statement.

Step 4: Proof of Publication

The newspaper will provide proof of publication to the County of San Luis Obispo Clerk-Recorder upon completion.

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available anytime throughout the year by mail, online, or in-person at the Clerk-Recorder Office in San Luis Obispo or Atascadero during regular business hours except during County observed holidays.

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Clerk-Recorder San Luis Obispo Office

Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

1055 Monterey Street Suite D120 San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Tel: (805) 781-5080

Fax: (805) 781-1111

Clerk-Recorder North County Office

Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:00pm

6565 Capistrano Avenue 2nd Floor Atascadero Library Atascadero, CA 93422

Tel: (805) 461-6041

Fax: (805) 461-6044

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Fictitious Business Name?
  • In the case of an individual: a name that does not include the owner(s) surname or suggests the existence of additional owners, such as Sons; Associates; Brothers; Company.

  • In the case of a partnership or other association of person: a name that does not include the surname of each general partner or a name that suggests the existence of additional owners.

  • In the case of a corporation: any name other than the corporate name stated in its articles of incorporation.

  • In the case of a limited partnership: any name other than the name of the limited partnership as on file with the Secretary of State.

  • In the case of a limited liability company: any name other than the name of the LLC as on file with the Secretary of State.
Why do I need to file a Fictitious Business Name?

The law bars a person conducting business under a fictitious business name, contrary to the requirements, from maintaining any action in any court in the State of California until the fictitious name has been executed, filed and published.

When does the Fictitious Business Name Statement expire?

A Fictitious Business Name Statement expires five (5) years from the date of filing, unless it is abandoned sooner. You may renew your Fictitious Business Name Statement every five (5) years, paying the current fees, if there are no changes from your previous statement. If you qualify for a renewal, you are not required to publish the statement in the newspaper. 

Does filing a Fictitious Business Name Statement give me exclusive use of the name?

No. The only way to have exclusive use of the name is to Trademark or Copyright the name through the Secretary of State.

What do I need to do if I am no longer doing business under my filed Fictitious Business Name Statement?

If you are no longer doing business under your filed Fictitious Business Name Statement, the law requires that you file a Statement of Abandonment of Use of Fictitious Business Name form, pay the appropriate fee, and then publish the form.