Register Your Business

with the State of California

Business Structure

Should you structure your business to be a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation? Where should you incorporate? Learn more about the different structures and which is the right one for you right now.

Non-Profit vs. For-Profit

Consider whether you should you be a non-profit or a for-profit.


SBDC has FREE and low cost marketing courses to help you create a name for your business that aligns with your overall strategy.

Availability of Name

Register Your Business Name

Registering your company name is an optional step that will help protect the identity of your business. It ensures that similar businesses types can’t register the same name. Registration fees vary based on your type of business, location, and number of employees.

If you have chosen a name and want to make it official, register your FBN with the County of Los Angeles so you can start "Doing Business As" (DBA) your company.

Applying for a fictitious business name (FBN) is the first piece of paperwork that you'll file for your business. It's best to finish writing a business plan, planning your finances, and selecting a location before you file. The application isn't free and you'll have to file more paperwork if you want to change your name later.

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

If you hire employees, you must apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number. If your business is a sole proprietorship, a FEIN may be helpful, but is not necessary.