How to start your business in Southern California?

How exactly to start a business as an individual or sole proprietor in Southern California? It’s a simple four step process.

Firstly, search the phrase “DBA name search Los Angeles county” on Google.  You can replace ‘Los Angeles’ with respective county name. Since majority of business goes to LA, we will keep it as the point of reference in this post. Browse to any of the top websites in search results that read “Fictitious Business Name Search”. You will be directed to LA county clerk’s office website. Head straight to the ‘Filings’ page. Here we start filing for your fictitious business name.

What exactly is Fictitious Business name?

Fictitious business name and DBA are one and the same. If you are an individual, aspiring to start a business in California, fictitious business name may apply to you. It applies especially when you don’t want to use your real name for business. It’s the business equivalent of having an alias. It is the simplest way to start a business without doing all the filings in LA County.

Let’s get back to the process…

Browse to ‘fictitious business name’.  Choose to apply online for one. Make sure the name isn’t already taken. That’s the whole purpose of step 1.

Moving on to step 2…

Browse to frequently asked questions. Click on the question, ‘how can I fill out the application?’. Check the link given as answer. You have two options to apply for DBA from here. You can either do it in person or mail-in the application. Going in person does have its perks. It lets you in on knowing how things work. For the sake of convenience, you can also choose the mail-in option as well.

Regardless of the option you chose, you need to submit your business application here. You need to fill in your fictitious business name, real name and few more details. If you chose the in-person option, you need to get to their office to finish processes. They will have the application ready for you. You have to pay a little fee there too.

Step 3

LA County mandates you to publish your business in newspaper for at least four weeks. You got 30 day deadline to do that. They have listed tons of newspaper companies, where you can publish for four consecutive weeks. Before publishing your ad ensure that you have the authentic stamp of approval from LA clerk’s office. Now let’s move to the fourth and final step.

Step 4

Now, you have the published in newspaper for four weeks. You have got the papers approved. Now it’s time to visit the bank. Take your approved Fictitious Business Name Statement to the bank. Give it to the banker who sets up the business accounting process.

Now you officially have a business bank account setup under a DBA name in SoCal. This way, you have different individual and business accounts. You are all set to face taxes and other business legalities relating to your new business in Southern California.