If you’re conducting business under a name different than your own (ie. John Doe), you must file a Fictitious Business Name (FBN) with the SF Office of the County Clerk.
Step 1. Find an Available Name
When you choose to name your business, you must choose a name no one else in San Francisco is using. You can check to see if the name you want is available using the SF Fictitious Business Name (FBN) Search or search the terminal at the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector (TTX). We recommend searching the internet and checking the US Patent and Trademark Office or the CA Secretary of State’s Corporate Division to see if your name is being used in other areas as well.
Step 2. Register your Business
Complete a Business Registration Certificate with TTX.
Note: You may skip this step if you have a current original San Francisco Tax Collector Business Registration Certificate, and all the information is consistent with the information on your FBN statement.
Step 3. File an FBN
To file your FBN, you must submit the Fictitious Business Name Statement and filing fee either in person or by mail to the Office of the County Clerk. If filing in person, be sure to bring: a valid legal photo identification; a self-addressed, stamped envelope; and proof of registration with TTX, for example, a receipt or Temporary Verification of Registration.
Office of the County Clerk
City Hall, Suite 168
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102-4678
Note: New accounts require copy of receipt from TTX Office. Delinquent accounts require Original Temporary Verification of Registration (TVR) from TTX.
Upon filing, an "Endorsed" copy of the FBN statement (usually yellow-colored) will be provided along with a receipt.
Step 4. Advertise Your New Name
An "ENDORSED" copy of the filed statement will be issued to you but after filing for your FBN, you still must advertise the name in a local newspaper for a minimum of four weeks. The name must be published in a legally adjuticated newspaper within 30 days from the date of filing. See the County Clerk's publication requirements for more information.
The following documents are part of this permit. Fill out the necessary forms and submit them to the issuing department to apply.