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Did You Know?Did You Know?

Fictitious Business Names

There is no statewide registry of all the fictitious names in California. However, the California Secretary of State maintains a registry of fictitious names of California corporations. You may mail the Name Availability Inquiry Letter, available on their website, to check on up to three names. The letter should be mailed with a self-addressed envelope, to:

Secretary of State
Name Availability Unit
1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814.

To make an inquiry by telephone, you must establish a prepaid account with the Secretary of State's office. The fee is $4.00 per search. For more information about prepaid accounts, you may contact the Secretary of State's Accounting Office at (916) 653-1233.

For other fictitious names, an individual needs to contact the county offices in the county where the business is located. To see if a non-corporation business name is being used anywhere in California, a person would have to check with the county clerk's office in each of the California counties.

For Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Clerk (701 Ocean St., Rm 230, Santa Cruz, 95060), maintains the county's file of Fictitious Business Name Statements. To see if a name is already being used in this county, you may search the Fictitious Business Name Inquiry database online or through terminals in the lobby of the County Clerk's office. The County Clerk's staff will assist you if needed. You may also request a search by mail or email. To request a search by mail, send the name you want searched and a stamped self-addressed envelope to the County Clerk at the above address.

View similarly tagged entries:

business, consumer, government



Last updated by birnbacha on Dec. 14, 2009


While the Library has verified the information presented in these files in what it considers to be reliable and authoritative sources, it cannot take responsibility for nor guarantee the accuracy of the information presented.