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Fictitious Business Names in Sacramento

A fictitious business name or DBA "doing business as" allows you to legally do business as a particular name at minimal cost, and without having to create an entirely new business entity.

You can open bank accounts, advertise, and otherwise do business under that name. Fortunately, filing for an assumed name is so easy and inexpensive.

A fictitious business name allows you as a sole proprietor to use a business name rather than your personal name.

It also lets you use a typical business name without creating a formal legal entity such as a corporation or partnership, LLC, etc.. You can open a business checking account and get a business phone listing for the name. For sole proprietors, this is the least expensive way to legally do business under a business name.

It also allows a single legal entity (corporation, LLC, etc.) to operate several businesses without creating a new legal entity for each business. As an example, if you are planning to operate a series of web sites, or a chain of stores, you might set up a corporation with a generic name, such as Sacramento Web Enterprises, Inc., or Sacramento Stores, LLC, and then file an fictitious business name for each website or bar. Since there can often be significant expenses in filing and maintaining your corporation, this helps you control costs while still allowing you to expand your business.

Registration of fictitious business names is handled at the county level, and each county may have different forms and fees for registering a name. The process is fairly simple: you perform a search through their database to make sure the name is not already in use, then submit a simple form, along with the correct filing fee (anywhere from $25 to $50 depending on the county and the number of names). California law requires that you publish a notice in a local newspaper and submit an affidavit to show that you have fulfilled the publication requirement.

In addition to your own interests in filing a fictitious business name, keep in mind that the disclosure of actual business ownership is for consumer protection. Imagine doing business with a company, having a problem, going to file suit, and no being able to find out who is the actual owner.

Proper use of a fictitious business name can be a powerful branding tool with very little cost.


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