On August 1, 2022, the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office will launch a new software application for Fictitious Business Name (FBN) Filing(s). The new FBN application process includes a redesigned PDF fillable form for mail-in applications. Please note the previous version of the mail-in FBN application will still be accepted.

Few things are as important to a business as its name. It is the way customers find the business. Filing a Fictitious Business Name (FBN) Statement creates an accurate, easy-to-find record of who is responsible for the conduct of the business located in San Mateo County. A Fictitious Business Name Statement is not required if the business name also contains the legal name of the owner, because the legal name of the owner is a clear way of distinguishing the business from others.

The Fictitious Business Name filing process requires that the applicant advertise the name in a newspaper of general circulation within 30 days of the filing date. County staff have information about qualified newspapers and can assist applicants with this step.

Business licenses are issued by the city where the business is located. Business licenses for businesses located in the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County are issued by the San Mateo County Treasurer’s Office.

Business Resources

Search Online Request FBN Certified or Non-Certified Copies How to Register or Renew a Name How to Withdraw How to Abandon Fictitious Business Names (FBN) Fees Business License

Starting a Business in San Mateo County

Starting a Business image

In order to open for business, you will need to contact the appropriate government agencies, file statements, pay taxes and follow various regulations.

Six Steps to Starting a Business