How to file a DBA in Orange County, California

A DBA is an alternate name you use for your business and stands for "doing business as." A sole proprietor may use a DBA name to present a business image separate from his personal name and identity. Other business structures may use a DBA to establish a new brand name or identity for the company, without needing to register a new entity. In Orange County, California, you can register a DBA name by filing an application for a so-called fictitious business name with the clerk-recorder's office.

Go to the Orange County website and type "DBA" in the search field.

Click the "EFBN – Clerk-Recorder, County of Orange" link. This takes you to the online application page for fictitious business names.

Search for available DBA names. Click the "Search" tab on the application page and enter the DBA name you wish to use in the "Business Name" field. If the name is in use, you'll see it in the search results. You cannot use a DBA name that is already registered.

Create and online application account. Click the "Register" button at the top of the search screen. Select a login ID and password and provide your name and email address. Click the "Create Profile" button to register your account.

Log in to your account and select "New FBN Statement" from the "Forms" drop-down menu.

Navigate the application by going through all of the form tabs. Each tab corresponds to a specific section and requires information such as the business name you're registering, the business address, registered owner information and the date your company started.

Review and confirm your entries and print and sign your application.

Send your application, filing fee to and a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Orange County Clerk-Recorder Attn: Fictitious Business Name Statements 12 Civic Center Plaza, Room 106 Santa Ana, CA 92701

Make your check payable to "Orange County Clerk-Recorder." As of 2012, the fee to register one fictitious business name was $23 and each additional name was $7.

Receive a certified copy of your registered DBA name within seven days from the county recorder. Prepare a public notice statement that announces your DBA name and submit it to one newspaper circulated in Orange County. You must file the notice within 30 days from the date you file the fictitious business name application.

File an affidavit of publication with the clerk-recorder's office within 30 days from the date your public notice is published. This affirms you're in compliance with public notice requirements. In the affidavit, state you're over age 18 and that your business is registered in Orange County. List the name and address of the business and provide the name of the newspaper that published your notice. Include the publication date and copy of the notice. You may obtain proof of publication from the newspaper. Send the affidavit and proof to the same address you used to send your application.



About the Author

With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.