Fictitious Business Name Customer Alert – Misleading Business Solicitations

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)–Dennis Draeger, San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk has been advised that solicitations are being sent to business owners alerting them that their Fictitious Business Name (FBN) Statements have expired.  These solicitations are also being sent to business owners who have recently filed FBN Statements.

Renewal letters are mailed from the San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk to business owners approximately one month before the FBN Statements are to expire.

Although these solicitations appear to be official, they are not being made by the San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s Office.  Be aware that some of these solicitations might contain one or more of the following:

* Envelope contains an official-looking seal
* The solicitor’s name contains wording that is similar to a government entity
* Quote a specific statute or other law on the form to be filled out and returned
* Provide the business name information
* Quote a fee for publication which the Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s Office does not collect
* Reference fees estimating from $125.00 to $500.00
* Provide the San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s Fictitious Business Name Statement.

A business owner can file an FBN Statement in person or by mail.  The filing fee is $40.00 for one business name and one registrant.  The fee for additional business names at the same location and/or additional owners is $10.00 per name.  Further information about FBN Statements can be obtained from our website at www.sbcounty.gov/arc.

Business owners that receive one of these unsolicited letters can mail a written complaint along with the entire solicitation (including solicitation letter, the outer and return envelopes, and all related documents) to the California Attorney General’s Office, Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento California 94244-2550. A complaint form, which can be completed online and printed to mail, is available on the California Attorney General’s website at www.ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php.

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