DBA’s (Doing Business As) is a way to legally represent yourself or your company under another business name. It is a simple way to start a business as a sole proprietor (by yourself) or a partnership (with two or more people). Companies can also register DBA’s which is useful when you have different brands, stores, services, etc that are under different names.

In the Kern County Clerk website, kerncountyclerk.com, you’ll also see the words “Fictitious Business Name” which has the same meaning as DBA.

Here is how you register a DBA in Kern County California:

  1. Do a Fictitious Business Name Search on their website to see if the name you’d like is available.
  2. Do a Trademark Search to see if your name is trademarked in your industry.
  3. Fill out and print Kern County Clerk’s Fictitious Business Name Form.
  4. Mail or hand deliver the form along with the fee ($35 + $6 for each additional DBA owner, beyond the first) to their office in Bakersfield (the address is on the form)
    1. If you are mailing the form, you will need to attached their Affidavit of Identity which needs to be notarized. You can get notary services at Srivasa 31 S Real Rd, Bakersfield, Unit B, CA 93309
    2. If you are walking into their office with the form, bring identification.
  5. They will give/send you multiple copies of your approved DBA and a list of newspapers to publish in.
  6. Contact one of the newspapers within 30 days and send them a copy of one of your approved DBA forms marked “PUBLISH.” You’ll need to pay the newspaper and the amount varies. You only need to publish in one newspaper.
  7. The newspaper will send you and the Kern County Clerk copies of the newspaper publishing.
  8. You’re all set! You’ll need to renew your DBA every five years if you’d like to keep it.

Put simply: Submit 1-2 page form with fee and publish in a newspaper.

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