Why do you need a Fictitious Name Permit for your Professional Medical Corporation in California?

Ever wonder about the name requirements when running your own medical business in California? Whether as a professional medical corporation or a partnership, it is important to be educated about the business name requirements and permits you need to run your business the right way and avoid problems and penalties in the future.

If you are an existing professional medical corporation or still in the works of starting your own medical business based in California, this article will give you important tips on fictitious business name statements as a way to answer your questions in accomplishing these permits should you need them. We have received a lot of frequently asked questions from clients particularly about fictitious business names and the laws and regulations that govern them in the state of California. Read more as we share common questions asked by our clients as a guide to help you in your own medical business in California.

What is A Fictitious Business Name for Professional Medical Corporations? 

A fictitious business name is a name other than the name required for your business. Because professional medical corporations need to use the name of one or more of their shareholders and have an optional requirement to add their corporate designation after, using other names aside from the one mandated by law means using a fictitious name, which can then be acquired through a fictitious business name permit.  

Fictitious business name requirements have existed for almost 35 years since January 1, 1980, and it is required for licensed physicians, surgeons, and podiatrists who opt to use a different business name other than their own. Fictitious business names can also apply to partnerships, group practice or others who want to use a name other than the name used in their professional license for public communication, advertisement, signage, or announcement.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Fictitious Business

Name Permits in California 

Question: Are fictitious business names the same as registered trademarked names? 

A fictitious business name is a name other than the name required for your business. If you plan on using other names aside from the one mandated by law, you will need to acquire a fictitious business name permit.

Answer: While fictitious names are the same as trade names, fictitious business names differ from trademark names in the sense that fictitious business names need to be registered from the Board and state government.  

Question: What happens when you don’t comply with the fictitious business name permits for your business? 

Answer: In essence, it is unprofessional conduct when a professional medical corporation or partnership does not comply with the fictitious business name requirements, and certain fines and penalties will be applied accordingly. Normally, we have clients go through the problem permits because they think the fictitious business name permit you get from the city/county is the same as the ones issued by the Board. It is important to note that in California, you need to comply with a fictitious business name permit through the Board. In addition, insurance companies do not cover any negligence from failure to comply with fictitious business names for your business.  

Question: Should every licensed professional be issued a separate fictitious business name permit for their professional medical corporation or partnership? 

Answer: No. Only one of the owners should file for an FNP. However, a list of other licensed professional shareholders should be included in the application. Once the Board approves of it, one FNP is issued for the company. In addition, an FNP is only applicable to professional medical corporations and partnerships, and not to licensed professional employees.  

Examples of Fictitious Business Names in California 

One of our clients who is a licensed physician started her professional medical corporation with four other licensed physicians. She named the corporation under her name as Carmen De La Fuente, M.D. Inc. With this in hand, she did not need to file for a fictitious business name permit since she’s using the general name requirement for her business.  

On the other hand, we have another client named Jose Delgado who also happens to be a licensed physician and a business owner of a partnership. Moreover, Jose and his business partner opted to use “Sunrise Medical Group” as the name of their company and thus, they applied for a fictitious business name permit from the board for his partnership business.  

Other Laws and Regulations for Your Professional Medical Corporation or Partnership 

Fictitious business names are one of the first few important regulations you need to be keenly informed with when starting your own professional medical corporation or partnership in Los Angeles, California. Starting a business requires a lot of hard work in terms of processing all the legal paperwork and complying with all state and government requirements. With this in hand, it is important to be acquainted with other laws and regulations that govern professional medical corporations and partnerships. To know more, we’ve listed some important government codes with links for you to further read on. 

  • Business and Professions Code (BPC) 
  • Corporation Code (CORP) 
  • Insurance Code (INS) 
  • Penal Code (PEN) 
  • Welfare and Institution Code (WIC) 
  • California Code of Regulations (CCR)

Can I have more than one Fictitious Name Permit, or am I only allowed to have one at a time?

Fortunately, the answer is yes! Legally, a physician may hold multiple fictitious name permits. However, it is important to remember an application is required for EACH permit name (so you can’t apply for multiple permits in one application). A permit name does not have to match the corporation name exactly, so  an example would be leaving off “Inc.” (this would be acceptable).

For example, Let’s say that we have formed the corporation Dimmsdale OB-GYN Medical Group, Inc.

I suggest completing two applications:

  1. First application would be for the use of Dimmsdale OB-GYN Medical Group leaving “INC” off (since this is acceptable with a fictitious name).
  2. The second application would be for Dimmsdale OB-GYN.

If there are deficiencies in your applications and fictitious names, you would be notified by correspondence and email (if you provided it) at the time the Medical Board reviews the application.

Luckily, you can see your issued permit appear online in real time. This means you can follow up regularly online at the link below:


Once the permit appears there you may start using the name.  The wall certificate will follow 4-6 weeks after the issue date.

Help Us Comply A Fictitious Business Name for Your Professional Medical Corporation or Partnership in Los Angeles, California!  

If you are planning to start your own medical business in California, now is the time to consult with us. For most business owners, fictitious business names catch more attention to their customers. Our expert corporate attorneys are here to help you run this course smoothly. Contact us now at +1 (714) 634-4838 and let’s talk business!