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Note: This article only applies to California, and Santa Clara county. For other counties and states other rules may apply.

Two day ago we finally sent out our FBN-filing to the Clerk-Recorder’s office. The process of filing these papers was very straight forward. Go to the Clerk-Recorder’s homepage and download the PDF-file. The form is really intuitive, and won’t take you too much time to fill out. However, in order to file these paper you need an EIN. In addition to that information, you just basically fill out what the FBN is, where you’re located and names etc.

After this filing is done, you need to run a small advertisement in a magazine or newspaper (San Jose Business Journal is cheap) for 4 weeks to establish your FBN. When these weeks are over, the magazine will send you the ads, which you will archive with your business papers. The reason for this is that if someone later on will claim the name which you filed the FBN for, you have these ads as a proof of that you were the first one to use the name.

Why do you need an FBN? First of all this establishes you company name. In the case when you use a name other than your real business-name when conducting business, you need to have a FBN that links your FBN to your company. If you file a FBN for your real business name, you simply just establish your business-name further legally. In addition to that, whenever you want to file for another FBN, for let’s say a product or service, you don’t need to go through and file all the papers again. Then you just file an Addendum to add the product/service.

What you need:
– A registered company (LLC in our case)
– An EIN
The form for filing FBN
The form to file for additional FBN (optional)
– Two envelopes and two stamps (one for the filing and one for the self-addressed stamped envelope)

What you get:
– An FBN that’s valid for 5 years

What you pay:
– $37 for the initial filing
– $7 for each extra FBN (Addendum)

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