Do I Need a Fictitious Business Name or a DBA?

The application for a Fictitious Business Name also known as Doing Business As (DBA) depends on many factors in California.

If you are operating your business as any one of the below-listed entities

then you do not need to file for a fictitious business name if your company is operating under the exact same name as the name used in the Articles of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State (yes, that includes the Inc. or LLC at the end of your entity’s name), then, generally, you do not have to file for a fictitious business license.  Alternatively, you might want to try to add and Inc. to your DBA application to make your company sound more official. Don’t try this, you may not add Corp., Inc., etc. to your fictitious business name if you are not a corporate entity.  Similarly, if you are not a Limited Liability Company registered in the State of  California, you may not add LLC or the like to the end of your DBA.  The county clerk will reject your filing if you do append one of these suffixes to your requested name.

Additionally, if your company name includes at least your last name, then you may not need to file for a DBA.

As you can see there are several factors that should be considered to determine if a fictitious business name statement must be filed.  In California, these statements are not filed with the state but are filed in your county and you may also consider filing in other counties in which you conduct a reasonable amount of business. If you have questions about whether or not you need to file for a DBA, you should contact a business lawyer in your area.

Integrated General Counsel
Latest posts by Integrated General Counsel (see all)


  1. Paz Brundrett says

    This is certainly a superb write-up. Many thanks for spending some time to summarize all this out for folks. It truly is a great help!

    • I’m glad you found it helpful. Check back soon or sign up for my RSS feed to read more regarding fictitious business names.