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Fictitious Names:

Getting Information:

→ Notice of Upcoming Office Closure Date: The Sonoma County Clerk’s Office will be closed Friday, May 2nd due to a system upgrade. Vital records and marriage licenses will be issued from the Recorder’s Office for time sensitive requests. We apologize for the inconvenience.

For 24 recorded information, please call (707) 565-3700.

For questions regarding the filing of your fictitious business name statement, please call (707) 565-3800, or come to our office at 2300 County Center Drive, Ste. B177, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

Who must file:

  • Anyone doing business for profit under a fictitious name, as governed by Business and Professions Code § 17900.
  • Statement must be filed in county of principal place of business, and may also be filed in other counties as long as the requirements for filing in the county of principal place of business have been met

Information regarding the filing of a Fictitious Business Name Statement:

Be certain the information in the statement is correct and complete before filing it. You cannot make changes to the statement once it has been filed. Any changes would require the filing of a new statement, payment of the filing fees again, and publication in a newspaper in Sonoma County.

When you file a fictitious business name statement, it does not reserve the name for your exclusive use. The filing is for consumer protection, and is a requirement under Business & Professions Code § 17900.

The County Clerk's Office cannot refuse to file a fictitious business name statement because the name is already being used by someone else.

If there is a conflict between business owners using the same or similar names, it becomes a legal matter between the business owners.

Business and Residence Addresses - State Law requires the disclosure of actual street addresses for the place of business and EACH owner's place of residence. Do not use a mailing address such as a P.O. Box, postal suite, postal drop box, mailing suite, etc.

For the business address, use the address of the physical location of the principal place of business. If you operate the business out of your home, use the home address. If no street address is assigned, give the exact location of the business plus the rural route, slip number, or other number assigned.

Your residence address (where you live) must be listed under the registrant information. For the residence address, use the street address, not a mailing address. If the registrant is a corporation/LLC, an address (should not be a PO Box) and the State of Incorporation/Organization must be listed.

All information contained in the statement is a PUBLIC record, including your residence address. Anyone can purchase copies of the statement.

All original filings as well as new filings with a change in the facts from the previous filing must be published. The statement must be published in an adjudicated newspaper, once per week for four consecutive weeks. The first publication must begin within thirty days of the date the statement was filed in the County Clerk's Office. A list of newspapers is available from our office.

The proof of publication must be filed in the County Clerk's Office. Please check with the newspaper to see if they will forward the original to our office for filing.

The statement is a REFILE WITH NO CHANGES if NO information (including residence address of the owner(s)) changed from the previous filing. Statements filed as a REFILE WITH NO CHANGES do not need to be published provided they are refiled within 40 days of the expiration of the current statement. The customer is responsible for determining whether publication on a refiled statement is required.

The statement is valid for five years from the date it is filed in the County Clerk's Office, unless there is a change in any information (except the registered owners address). A change requires a new statement be filed within 40 days of the change. The new statement would also need to be published.

For questions regarding the filing of your fictitious business name statement, please call (707) 565-3800, or come to our office at 2300 County Center Drive, Ste. B177, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

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Where to get forms:

  • Come to Sonoma County Clerk's Office
    2300 County Center Drive, B-177
    Santa Rosa, California 95403
  • Mail self-addressed, stamped envelope to above address and ask for form
  • Visit our Forms Page

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Requirements to file: $40 fee plus $9 for each additional owner/business name

  • File within 40 days of business start date
  • Owner must sign (corporate officer if corporation; manager or officer if limited liability company)
  • Street address of principal place of business and county must be listed (corporation/limited liability companies must include an address and State of incorporation/organization)
  • All owners and their residence addresses must be listed
  • Filed copy of statement must be published once per week for four consecutive weeks in an adjudicated newspaper in Sonoma County (list available at County Clerk's Office)
  • Publication begins within 30 days of filing

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Conditions:

  • Filing does NOT reserve the name - it is for consumer protection purposes only
  • Filing is good for 5 years if no changes are made
  • Any change except owner residence address requires re-filing and republication within 40 days of the change
  • Name must be abandoned if no longer in business by filing statement of abandonment, paying $31 fee, and publication

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Payment Methods:

In Person:

  • Cash, checks or credit/debit cards are accepted as payment for any services or products purchased.  An additional $2.50 convenience fee applies with the use of a credit or debit card.
Sonoma County Clerk's Office • La Plaza West Building
2300 County Center Drive Suite B-177
Santa Rosa, California 95403

By Mail:

  • Check or money order only
Sonoma County Clerk's Office
2300 County Center Drive Suite B-177
Santa Rosa, California 95403

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How to get information about a fictitious business name statement in Sonoma County:

  • Call (707) 565-3800
  • Come into the County Clerk's Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday - Friday
  • Write to County Clerk's Office and include a self-addressed stamped envelope and $1.75 fee for each name to be researched
  • Copies are $1.00 per page and $2.00 for a certified copy

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For further information

To find out more about opening a small business in Sonoma County, please review the Sonoma County Business Regulatory Guide.

Some content on this page is saved in PDF format. To view these files, download the following free software.

If you would like more information about vital records available through the County Clerk's Office, please call our 24 hour information line at (707) 565-3700, or you may call our office phone at (707) 565-3800 during regular business hours, or visit our office Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We are always interested in receiving your feedback and/or questions.

Important Notice: The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.