Tuesday, March 6, 2007

FAQ: California Fictitous Business Name

A fictitious business name, also referred to as FBN, doing business as, DBA, dba, D/B/A, or trade name is a name other than your own legal name, or the official name of your corporation, LLC, or other business entity.  To use such a fictitious business name in California, you must file with your local government, usually at the county level and then publish a notice of this fact in a local newspaper of general cirulcation to put the public on notice of your assumed name.  One person or company may have multiple fictitious business names.

A fictitious business name is not the same thing as a trademark or service mark.  Firstly, because a DBA is only searched and registered on a local, rather than state or federal, level, and secondly, because registering a DBA does not in itself grant any trademark rights.  A fictitious business name is generally not a subtitute for trademark registration.

FBN is sometimes mispelled "ficticious business name".

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