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When you're ready to set up your LLC or corporation in California, you may want to file a "Doing Business As," or DBA, designation for your company. You would do this if you frequently want to refer to the business by a name other than the formation name. A California DBA is also known as a fictitious business name in California. Some companies file a "doing business as" in California so they can use a tag line to refer to their company, such as "The Best Burgers in Town."

Benefits of a California DBA

Under California law, sole proprietors, LLCs, partnerships, and corporations must file a DBA in California if they plan on using a different name in the course of their business. This can help you keep your personal name out of the company title if you prefer, or can be needed when your company title implies a variety of owners, like "Jones & Partners."

How to File a DBA in California

  • The first step in filing a DBA in California is a California DBA search. It's important that no other fictitious business names in California be similar or the same as yours. In addition, you'll need to make sure it's not a misleading name, and that it doesn't include words such as LLC, Inc, Incorporated, or other words with specific business meanings.
  • The next step is to file the appropriate California DBA forms. The DBA paperwork must include the exact, current legal name of the company and principle place of business. California LLCs must also include the address used in the paperwork when the LLC was formed.
    The certificate or form needed varies by county, as does the fee involved. incorporate.com can help you with both the California DBA search and the forms. We will ensure the right forms are chosen, filled out appropriately based on the information you provide, and turned in to the state in a timely manner.
  • The final step is to publish a statement of DBA in California in the local newspaper within 30 days of filing your California DBA paperwork. It must run once a week for four consecutive weeks. Then, an affidavit must be obtained from the publisher and turned in to the local county office no more than 30 days after the final publication

Filing a DBA in California can be confusing, but incorporate.com is here to help. We've helped hundreds of companies with their fictitious business name in California, and we'll walk you through the process step by step. We'll make sure the name is searched, reserved, the correct papers are filed, and that all fees are submitted in a timely manner. Count on us to file your DBA – contact us today!

Ready to Form Your LLC in California?

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