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Nonprofit Law/Re: California Non-Profit Religious Corp


After the Articles of Incorporation for a California non-profit religious corporation been filed with the Secretary of State, can we also file a fictitious business name statement using another name in the County of Los Angeles? Have not filed the 501c3 application yet.

Thank you.

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions about IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your matter is controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. Even though this forum is not for such state law issues, I will direct you to certain materials.

Chapter 5 of the California Business and Professions Code is entitled "Fictitious Business Names" and that chapters starts at

17902 provides:
--- Start of excerpt ---
 As used in this chapter, "person" includes individuals,
limited liability companies, partnerships and other associations, and
-- End of excerpt ---

In there certain requirements are discussed such as at 17910, which provides:
--- Start of excerpt ---
 Every person who regularly transacts business in this state
for profit under a fictitious business name shall do all of the
  (a) File a fictitious business name statement in accordance with
this chapter not later than 40 days from the time the registrant
commences to transact such business...

But, down at Section 17911 we see:
---Start of Excerpt--
This chapter does not apply to a nonprofit corporation or association, including, but not limited to, organizations such as churches, labor unions, fraternal and charitable organizations,
foundations, and similar organizations.
---End of Excerpt--

So your organization is not required to file if it uses a fictitious business name.  But you ask "can we", I suggest that, if you want to try, simply fill out the form and pay the fee and see if the county clerk files it. LA County filing online is available at and, on their site they state, "The first time filing fee for the Fictitious Business Name
Statement is $26.00 for one business name and one registrant."

In the alternative, their contact information for "Business Filings and Registration"
is (800) 201-8999, option 4. and you can call and ask the agent if they would file your statement even though you are a nonprofit organization. I have often found that agents on the phone at different governmental agencies do not answer correctly, though.

Let me know what happened so that I can share with other people inquiring in the future.

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather more information.

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Harvey Mechanic


I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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