Fictitious Business Names
Any person or entity who regularly transacts business, under a fictitious name, in the County of Inyo is required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Clerk-Recorder within 40 days of first transacting business. The filing is for consumer protection and is a requirement under law (BPC §§ 17900-17930).
A Fictitious Business Name Statement is a public record.
A fictitious business name simply means that you are running a business that has a name that is different from your personal name or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation.
In the case of a business owned by an individual, a “fictitious business name” is any name that does not include the last name (surname) of the owner, or which implies additional owners (such as "Company", "and Company", "and Sons", "Associates", etc.).
A Fictitious Business Name (FBN) Statement must be filed in the following scenarios:
- Sole Proprietors or Partnerships – If you wish to start a business under anything other than your real name, you’ll need to file a Fictitious Business Name statement.
- Existing Corporations or LLCs – If your business is already set up and you want to do business under a name other than your existing corporation or LLC name, you will need to file a Fictitious Business Name statement.
Per BPC § 17910, every person who regularly transacts business in this state for profit under a fictitious business name shall do all of the following:
- File a fictitious business name statement in accordance with this chapter not later than 40 days from the time the registrant commences to transact such business.
- File a new statement after any change in the facts, in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 17920.
- BPC 17920"(b) Except as provided in Section 17923, a fictitious business name statement expires 40 days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to Section 17913, except that a change in the residence address of an individual, general partner, or trustee does not cause the statement to expire."
- File a new statement when refiling a fictitious business name statement.
Most cities and counties have planning, zoning and licensing requirements. If you are locating your business in the unincorporated area of Inyo County, please review the Guide to Starting a Business in Inyo County.
If your business is located within the city limits of Bishop, contact the City of Bishop for more information.
If your business is located in an area that has been established and formally recognized as tribal lands, you are encouraged to contact the appropriate tribal entity to ensure compliance with any additional regulations.
Process online with Adobe Sign: You may complete the process online by digitally signing and submitting the completed FBN Statement (click here). We will confirm receipt and review your form. We will then contact you with any follow-up questions or corrections, or we will provide you with a website link to pay online with a credit card upon approval of your Statement.
Process in person or by mail: You may download & fill in the FBN Statement (click here), then print & sign it, and mail it to PO Drawer F, Independence CA 93526, or bring it in to our office during business hours to 168 N Edwards Street, Independence, CA 93526. No appointment is necessary but is encouraged for a shorter office visit. To make an in-person appointment, please call 760-878-0224.If submitting by mail or in person please do not digitally sign. Hard copy applications must have an original signature.
Payment options: (click here for Fee Schedule)
- Cash – you may pay with cash in person only.
- Check – you may pay with a check in person or by enclosing a check with your mailed application.
- Credit Card – you may pay with a credit card in person, or online after your application has been reviewed and we have notified you it is acceptable. If you would like to mail your application and pay online, please be sure to include an email address and phone number that we will contact you once payment is due.
If you need room for additional registrants or business names, please attached this Supplemental Page (click here). If you need this Addendum and are submitting your Statement electronically, please email this page to email@example.com. If you are mailing or delivering your Statement in person, please include this page with your Statement form, if applicable.
All requirements must be met to complete the filing of a Fictitious Business Name Statement:
- Owner must sign.
- Corporate officer if corporation.
- Manager or officer if limited liability company.
- General partner if partnership (or trustee if trust).
- Street address of principal place of business and county must be listed.
- Corporation/limited liability companies must include address as set out in its articles of incorporation on file with the Secretary of State and the state of incorporation/organization,
- All owners and their residence addresses must be listed.
- If the registrant is a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited partnership, or a limited liability partnership, the County Clerk will require a print-out issued by the California Secretary of State indicating the current existence and good standing of that business entity, no other state evidence will be accepted.
- Filed copy of statement must be published once per week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in Inyo County.
- Publication must begin within 30 days after a fictitious business name statement has been filed, pursuant to Business & Professions Code 17917(a).
The fee to file a Fictitious Business Name statement is $20.00 for one fictitious business name and one registrant. There is a fee of $2.00 for any additional registrants and for each additional business name. A married couple is considered one registrant.
For a complete list of all FBN-related fees please view our Fee Schedule
Checks should be made payable to the Inyo County Clerk.
After the statement is filed, the Inyo County Clerk-Recorder’s office will give you one certified copy and two regular copies. Your bank will likely ask to see the certified copy. You can use the other copies to give to the local newspaper for publishing and keep one copy for your records.
If filing by mail, please enclose a self-addressed envelope.
After you file the statement, you must take one copy of the Fictitious Business Name statement to the newspaper and arrange to have it published. The newspaper will send a proof of publication to the Inyo County Clerk-Recorder’s office.
The FBN Statement is a legal document and no changes may be made to an FBN Statement once it is filed. Be certain the information in the statement is correct and complete before filing it. Once your statement has been filed, changes to the filing cannot be made, and no refunds are issued.
If any change occurred in the facts of the original statement, other than a change of residence address for owner, partner, officer etc., a new FBN Statement must be filed and will also need to be published.
The Fictitious Business Name Statement expires five (5) years from the date you filed it with the county clerk's office unless a change occurs which causes it to expire earlier. If your business address or one of the owners changes, your statement will expire in 40 days from the date of the change. You must file a new Fictitious Business Name statement before it expires in order to continue doing business under that business name.
Disclaimer: These references are for informational use only and does not represent all related laws. The Clerk-Recorder office is not a legal resource and cannot provide legal advice. Anyone seeking assistance should contact legal counsel.