Find information on the process, requirements and contacts to start your business in Alameda County and Alameda County Unincorporated Areas.
Starting a business in Alameda County? You may need to file a statement of Fictitious Business Name (FBN). A fictitious business name is any name that does not identify the business owner(s). Sole proprietorships and partnerships need to file an FBN if their business name does not include the last names of all the owners. Corporations should file if their business name is different from the full corporate name. Names are registered through the County Clerk's office in the county where you business is headquartered.
For businesses in Alameda County you can check a name without a charge if you appear in person at the County Clerk's office, 1106 Madison Street, Oakland 94612. or, for a $25.00 fee, you can request a name check by mail.
To protect yourself from legal problems or conflicts with other businesses using the same name, make sure that your name is unique outside of Alameda County as well, especially in cities, counties or metropolitan areas in which you plan to do business. Any easy way to do this is by using Reference USA which allows you to check business names by metropolitan area, county, city, state or all of the U.S. You can use this database at any Alameda County Library branch or, if you have an Alameda County Library card, through the Library's webpage.