If you are a licensed physician and surgeon, or podiatrist, practicing under a
fictitious, false or assumed name in any public communication, advertisement, sign or announcement.
Example: "Sunrise Medical Group."
If only the name or surname (last name) of the physician or podiatrist is used, followed by Medical Doctor, M.D., Podiatrist, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, D.P.M., Medical Corporation, Medical Corp., Podiatry Corporation, Podiatry Corp., Professional Corporation, Prof. Corp., Corporation, Corp., Incorporated or Inc. Examples: "John Doe Medical Corporation" or "John Doe, M.D. Inc." would not require a fictitious name permit as long as John Doe matches the legal name on the physician's medical license.
Yes. The proposed name cannot be misleading, deceptive, confusing, or similar to a previously
issued name. A doctor of podiatric medicine must include the designation (word) "podiatric," "podiatry,"
"podiatrist," "foot" or "ankle." (Title 16, Division 13.9, Section 1399.688(b) of the California Code of Regulations.)
A $70 non-refundable processing fee is required, with a renewal fee of $50 every two years.
The check should be made payable to the Medical Board of California. A renewal notice automatically will be mailed
to the practice address approximately 90 days before the permit expires.
Approximately 90 days before the permit expires, you will receive a renewal notice in the mail. If you
do not receive your notice or have lost the notice, you may use the form titled Fictitious Name Permit Notification of Renewal/Hold/Release.
The usual fee is $50, every two years. If the permit has become delinquent, an additional fee of $20 is required for a total of $70. To check the
status of the permit, click on "License Search for Fictitious Name Permit."
Before selecting a fictitious name, visit our link License Search to determine the availability of a fictitious name.
Try to avoid names that only contain generic medical words or terms. If the name is unoriginal/common, chances are it has already been issued.
The criteria for approving a name is that it not be confusing or similar to a name which has already been issued, regardless of who owns the similar name.
Yes. Keep in mind that the same name style requirements apply, as stated above. Be sure to provide an
explanation of the acronym, abbreviation, etc. on page 2, section 3 of the application.
Contact your local county and city agencies. The Medical Board is a state agency and, as such, cannot
provide an answer regarding local requirements. The answer may be different, depending upon where the physician is practicing medicine.
No. As long as the physician's medical license is renewed and current, the Board does not require anything further.
Yes. As long as the fictitious name is exactly the same at each location and the owners notify the Medical Board in writing of
each practice address. Only the primary physical address appears on the Board’s website. Additional addresses may be obtained upon request.
No, as long as the names of each FNP are different. A separate application must be submitted for each fictitious name.
Physicians doing business as a corporation also may file for multiple permits under the same corporation.
On the application, where it asks for a practice address, instruct the applicant to complete the “Physician or Corporation Name,” section, and write “N/A, telehealth services” on the street address. Be sure to include a phone number. A mailing address must be provided in the next section.
A professional medical corporation providing services in California only through telehealth using a fictitious name must post the fictitious name permit on its telehealth website/portal so that each patient may view it.
The Medical Board can only accept corporations that are formed in California and are professional medical corporations.
No out-of-state (foreign), limited liability, or general corporations are allowed. NOTE: For physicians, the Articles of Incorporation MUST state
“the purpose of this corporation is to engage in the profession of Medicine, and for podiatrists, it must state “the purpose of this corporation
is to engage in the profession of Podiatry” for it to be accepted by the Board.
No. Physicians cannot practice medicine as LLPs or LLCs.
Physicians may only be partners with other physicians and osteopaths or podiatrists (see Business & Professions Code section 2416).
Owners do not appear on the wall certificate or on the Board’s website. However, this information is public record and may be obtained upon request.
Yes. The Board requires a copy of the Articles of Incorporation to ensure that the corporation is active and is a professional medical corporation. If a corporate name is issued by the Secretary of State
and is not available as a fictitious name, the physician has the option of submitting three different name options on the FNP application and the Board will use one of the three names that is available. The corporate name may be different from the fictitious name.
Yes. The Secretary of State approval of the corporate name does not give permission to advertise under that name to the public if it is a fictitious name.
You must also apply for a Fictitious Name Permit with the Medical Board in order to advertise under a fictitious name.
No. The Board would only need to be notified if there is a complete change of the corporation. This would only apply to physicians or podiatrists who have an FNP with the Board. Any other corporate matters should be addressed to the Secretary of State
. They can be reached at (916) 657-5448.
At least 51% of the shares must be owned by a licensed physician and surgeon. The remaining 49% may be owned by: osteopathic physicians,
podiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses, optometrists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, physician assistants,
chiropractors, acupuncturists, professional clinical counselors, physical therapists, pharmacists, licensed midwives or naturopathic doctors.
The number of these licensed persons cannot exceed the number of physicians. A lay (unlicensed) person cannot own any shares of a medical
corporation. If at least 51% of the shares are owned by an osteopathic physician or combination of osteopathic physicians, the FNP must be
obtained through the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.
From the time that the application is received, approximately four to six weeks. The applications are reviewed in the date order in which they are received.
No. The application would still be reviewed in the date order in which it was received, whether received in the mail or hand delivered.
Complete and mail, email or fax the form entitled, Fictitious Name Permit-Change of Address Form
. The form must be signed by a current owner of the permit. The Board does not automatically send out an updated wall certificate when an address change is processed. If you wish to request a replacement certificate, please complete an Application for a Duplicate Fictitious Name Permit form.
Complete the form entitled, Application for Cancellation of a Fictitious Name Permit
. The form must be signed by at least one physician who is recognized by the Board as being a current owner. Mail, email or fax the form to the information listed at the top of the application. There is no fee to cancel the permit.
You may have had a change of address or failed to complete the renewal form in its entirety. When this happens, the fees still are collected by the cashiering unit but a hold is sometimes placed on the permit. This insures that the new permit is not mailed to an incorrect address and that an unauthorized person has not signed for the renewal of the permit. Should this happen, complete and mail to the Board the form entitled, Fictitious Name Permit Notification of Renewal/Hold Release. The form must be signed by a physician who is recognized by the Board as being a current owner.
If the permit is not renewed, it will fall into delinquent status and will appear on the website as such. If the permit has not been renewed for five years, the system is programmed to automatically cancel the permit as required by law. The owner of the permit has the option of submitting an Application for Cancellation of a Fictitious Name Permit
at any time. No fee is charged to cancel the permit.
During the application review process, the three name choice options entered on the application are crosschecked with existing
permit names to determine if any of the name choices are available. If, at that time, any of the name choices are not available, or other
deficiencies are identified, a notice will be sent indicating the deficiencies that need to be corrected for the permit to be approved. The
deficiency letter will include contact information for someone for to speak to for further discussion of deficient items needed. Once all
deficiencies are fulfilled, the permit is usually issued within 7-10 business days.
Licensees who contract with, are employed by, or are on the staff of 1. any clinic licensed by the Department of Public Health under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1200) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety code, or 2. any medical school approved by the division or a faculty practice plan connected with that medical school, or 3. an outpatient surgery setting accredited by an accreditation agency approved by the Medical Board are not required to obtain a fictitious name permit. The four approved accreditation agencies are: "Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care," "American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc." and "Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations."
No, as long as the specialty listed is not part of the name you are advertising. Example: JOHN DOE, M.D. (Specializing in Pediatrics) would not require a permit. JOHN DOE, M.D. PEDIATRIC SPECIALTY would require a permit.
No. The current permit must be canceled before the name can be issued.
No. The entire name as it appears on the permit must be on all advertisements and materials seen by the public.
No. Pursuant to Business and Professions Code sections 2285 (b) and (c) and 2415
(d), only a physician and surgeon or doctor of podiatric medicine who is a sole
proprietor, or in a partnership, group, or professional corporation, may obtain
a fictitious name permit issued by the Board.