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The Importance of a Fictitious Business Name

10th July 2009
By Mesriani Law Group in Legal
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A business name identifies and distinguishes one product or brand from another. So, when starting a business, it is necessary to have an identity or name and file Fictitious Business Name (FBN) Statement before engaging in any transaction.

This can assure the public that the business is reputable and conforms to laws that protect the consumers' rights.


FBN statement must be filed within 40 days of making the first transaction as this will identify the parties that can be held responsible for the manner in which the business will be carried out.

To know more on FBN and its filing, here are other facts:

• It is required by the law to file FBN.

• The filing of FBN statement is only necessary if the business name does not include the owner's surname or if it does not clearly present the nature of the business.

• The use of FBN is, primarily, protect consumers from business owners who might take advantage of their anonymity.

• The business owner is allowed to file for different Fictitious Business Name statements for each of his separate businesses.

• Filing FBN does not guarantee the owner that he is the only one who uses that particular name.

• The owner is responsible in making sure that the FBN is not in use by other businesses or it is not protected by any trademark, or copyright laws.

In each state, fees and forms needed in filing an FBN statement may differ. It is best to contact the concerned office who can answer your queries.


After filing the necessary forms, owners are required to publish the Fictitious Business Name in newspapers that circulates in the county where the business is established.

Some newspapers may require time before they publish the FBN. It is the owner's duty to meet the requirements set by the newspaper. If he fails to do so, then he should file FBN again and pay the same fees.

The first publication must be released 30 days after the FBN filing. It must be in print once a week for four successive weeks.

After this, the newspaper will release an affidavit stating the FBN publication. The affidavit has to be forwarded to the concerned government office.


The validity of FBN can last up to five years. After that, it has to be renewed even if information about the business remains to be true.

If any information about the company is changed, the concerned office should be notified within 40 days.

Legal Issues

Starting a business can be too complicated. A lot of necessary permits, forms, and fees have to be filed in various offices. Because of this, may business owners seek the help of business lawyers who can see to it that each transaction will run smoothly.

These lawyers have handled many business cases in the past. They can advise their clients of their legal options and necessary steps they must take in case their requests have been denied.

To help you deal with issues on business law such as fictitious business name, consult with our expert business law attorneys. Visit our website and call us toll free for legal assistance.
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