Your Startups Pre-Launch Checklist: Fictitious Business Name (Part 4 of 14)

Fictitious Business Name from the Startup Garage
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What is a Fictitious Business Name?

Another step your startup must take before it gets underway is relatively simple, but extremely important: you have to register your fictitious business name. A fictitious business name is a name of company that does not include the surname of the owner or the names of all of the partners of the company. For instance, a startup called John Smiths Arcade would be acceptable and would not need to be registered under a fictitious name. On the other hand, a company called Blasters Arcade would be obligated to register its name.

Where Do I Register My Fictitious Business Name?

Where you register your fictitious business name (also known as an assumed name, trade name, or a doing business as name) depends on where you live. Some states make you register your startups trade name with the county clerk, others do not. The amount of paperwork and the size of the fee also vary based on the location of your new venture. We recommend that you visit and do some research to find out what you need to do to get your business name listed.

How Do I Get My Fictitious Business Name?

Again, every state has a different set of guidelines for registering your trade name. In San Diego County, it is recommended that you perform an in person search at the clerks office and an online search to make sure that your business name is not already taken. You can also check by mailing your business name to your local clerks office, but this usually takes 2-3 weeks.

If the name you want has not been taken, you can then file your fictitious business name either in person or by mail. We suggest you do this in person due to the importance of this document. In San Diego County, all that needs to be done is completing a Fictitious Business Name Statement and paying a $30 fee. Thats all it takes to get your trade name registered!

In our next post we will review how to get a seller’s permit. See you Thursday!


Whether you have a question about setting up your business name or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

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About Tyler Jensen

I work with entrepreneurs who are looking to attract investment and get out of the "Garage". I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs start companies that matter. I helped launch over 100 Companies, Non-Profits and Social Enterprises. I consider myself a serial entrepreneur, startup coach & trusted advisor. * Launching New Companies (For Profit, Non-Profit and Social Enterprise) * Expert Business Plan Writer * Extensive Network of Business Relationships focused on Launch & Rapid Growth of New Companies * Startup, Growth, Marketing, Technology, Web, Business Systems * Trusted Advisor to CEO’s & Entrepreneurs * Capital Raising Strategy Development * Startup Team Development The first company I started and sold is VAVi Sport & Social Club which grew to over 25,000 members in six years, was recognized as San Diego’s 30th fastest growing private company in 2006 by the San Diego Business Journal and 32nd fastest in 2007, and sold for over 25X the capital investment.