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Fictitious Business Statements

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WHAT IS IT?

This section will tell you how a "Fictitious Business Name" is defined, as well as who should file a Fictitious Business Name Statement.

The Definition of Fictitious Business Name is:
A business name that does not include the surname of the individual owner, and each of the partners or the nature of the business is not clearly evident by the name.

For example, doing business under a name like: Smith & Jones Associates or Smith & Jones Sons

Would require a Fictitious Business Name be registered, even though the surname of the owner is stated, the words following the surname suggest other owners that are not specifically named.

HOWEVER, doing business under a name like: John Smith Plumbing or Smith Plumbing

Would not require a Fictitious Business Name be registered, because the owner (John Smith) is conducting business under his legal name.

In the case of a corporation, a Fictitious Business Name is any name other than the exact corporate name as stated in the articles of incorporation.

WHEN IS IT REQUIRED?
Any person who regularly transacts business for profit, under a Fictitious Name in the County of Monterey is required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the County Clerk, within 40 days of first transacting business.

PLEASE NOTE: Although registration of a Fictitious Business Name is required, this office serves only as the central depository of these names, neither approving nor disapproving a particular name and cannot accept any responsibility for any omissions, similarities, or duplications among the Fictitious Business Names on file. Fictitious Business Names are filed only in the county where the business is located. Statewide registries do not exist.

All prospective registrants are cautioned that registration of a Fictitious Business Name does not guarantee exclusive use of that name.

For information on how to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement, click file in person or file by mail.