Clerk's Division FAQs
- When must I file a Fictitious Business Name Statement?
You can file before you make your first transaction. In any case you must file within 40 days of making your first transaction.
- Is a Fictitious Business Name Statement good forever?
No. You must update it every five years, even if no information about your business has changed.
- Where do I file and/or to whom is the check written?
Fictitious Business Name Statements must be filed with the County Clerk in which the registrant has his or her principal place of business. If filing in San Mateo County please write the check to the San Mateo County Clerk.
- May I have more than one Fictitious Business Name Statement on file?
Yes. You may have as many Fictitious Business Name Statements on file as you have separate businesses. Also, there may be more than one registrant listed on your Fictitious Business Name Statement.
- Does filing a Fictitious Business Name Statement automatically guarantee that no other business is using my name?
No, it does not reserve the name for your exclusive use. The filing is for consumer protection, and is under requirement under law. Applicants, not the county, are responsible for verifying that the business name used is unique. The applicant also is responsible for verifying that the name does not violate any trademark protocols. The County Clerk's Division will search Fictitious Business Name Statements on file for a fee (see below).