California law requires the name of a dental practice, whether or not it is incorporated, to include the family name or names of the practice owner(s) or the past owner if it is incorporated. A dentist, dental partnership or dental corporation wanting to operate under a name that does not include the family name of a licensed owner must obtain a dental board fictitious name permit and register the name with the county in which the practice is located.
The fictitious name permit is address-specific and nontransferable. The practice must be wholly owned and operated by the permit holders and the location must be owned or leased by the permit holders. The permit is subject to revocation if the practice changes locations or status, such as a change from individual owner to a corporation.
The fictitious name must include at least the family name of a dentist owner or the name(s) of one or more of the past, present or prospective associates, partners, shareholders or members of the group as well as one of the following designations: dental group, dental practice or dental office. The name may include descriptive language such as regional or geographic references and may denote a practice area as long as it is truthful and not misleading. The fictitious name may be more than one line, and if it is so, the lines do not have to be of equal font size.
A dentist should search the California Department of Consumer Affairs database and their county’s database, if available, to determine if a particular fictitious name is available.
Westeros Orthodontic and Dental Care
Dental Practice of Dr. Arya Stark
Gotham Dental Center
Drs. Wayne, Grayson and Gordon
Dental Group of Claire Fraser, DMD Inc.
N. Singh Dental Corporation
The permit application can be found on the dental board website, dbc.ca.gov. The application fee is $650 (or $325 if the associated primary dental license renews in less than one year) and the permit renewal fee is $325. A dental corporation must include Articles of Incorporation with the application. The permit is set to expire at the same time as the associated primary dental license.
A dentist who seeks to disassociate from a fictitious name permit or to cancel the permit must file a separate application form that can be found on the dental board website.
A dental practice operating with a fictitious name also must file a fictitious business statement with the county where the practice is located not later than 40 days after opening. Check the website of your county for the applicable form and additional information, including fee information. A dental corporation must include Articles of Incorporation with the statement.
A fictitious business name statement is set to expire five years from the date the statement was filed with the county unless a statement of abandonment is filed or if there is any change in the fictitious business statement (with the exception of a change in residence of an individual, partner or trustee).