Fictitious Name Permit

The purpose of a Fictitious Name Permit (FNP) is to allow a licensed physician and surgeon or podiatrist to practice under a name other than their own.

Fictitious Name Permit

The purpose of a fictitious name permit (FNP) is to allow a licensed physician and surgeon or podiatrist to practice under a name other than their own. Business and Professions Code section 2285 states: "The use of any fictitious, false, or assumed name, or any name other than their own by a licensee either alone, in conjunction with a partnership or group, or as the name of a professional corporation, in any public communication, advertisement, sign, or announcement of their practice without a fictitious-name permit obtained pursuant to Section 2415 constitutes unprofessional conduct."

Applications for fictitious name permits are reviewed in date-received order, with an approximate processing time of four to six weeks. After review, the permit is approved or a letter of deficiency is mailed to the applicant explaining the specific problems. The Medical Board closely monitors fictitious names to ensure that similar names are not issued. If there is a name discrepancy, the FNP coordinators will work directly with the applicant, either by phone, fax, or email, to agree upon an alternative name. If an application is received without payment of the $50 processing fee made out to the Medical Board of California, it will immediately be returned to the applicant.

For further questions, call the Licensing Program at (916) 263-2382 or (800) 633-2322.

Tip

Be sure you are in compliance with the corporate practice of medicine ban. Learn more about the corporate practice of medicine.

Fictitious Name Permit Applications

Common Reasons for Rejection of Fictitious Name Permits

The Medical Board of California receives approximately 1,225 Fictitious Name Permit (FNP) applications per year. The process can be time-consuming because of the volume and because applicants frequently may not read or follow instructions provided on the application.

To assure timely service, the Medical Board is asking physicians and their attorneys to take the time to carefully review and complete the application. Some of the common errors that applicants make on the application are:

  1. The signature block on the application is not complete. Every portion of the signature block must be completed and include an original signature. Be sure to fill in the entire date upon which the application is being signed. Only original and complete applications will be accepted.
  2. The desired name is already taken or is too similar to existing names. To check for name availability, click on the Fictitious Name Permit Search link below. Reservations for names will not be accepted.
  3. The fictitious name does not comply with the statutory requirements. The name cannot be deceptive, misleading, confusing (B & P Code section 2415(b)(3)) or similar to a name previously issued. (CCR 1350.3)
  4. If applying as an individual (sole proprietor), the Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is not listed. If applying as a partnership, the Federal Employee Identification Number is not listed.
  5. The complete name and original number of the California Corporation are not listed.
  6. Copies of the Articles of Incorporation are not submitted with the application indicating the status of the entity as a California professional corporation. The Medical Board needs to insure the corporation is active and is a professional medical corporation.
  7. The applicant fails to list all shareholders and (in cases where there are non-physician shareholders) the percentage of shares owned by each shareholder.
  8. The $50.00 application fee made payable to the Medical Board of California is not submitted with the application.

Statutory information is provided with the application. Please refer to this information and follow the instructions on the application. If you have any additional questions, please call (916) 263-2382.

Fictitious Name Permit Renewal

In California, Fictitious Name Permits must be renewed every two years. It a violation of the Medical Practice Act to practice under a fictitious name with an expired permit. The permit expires at midnight on the expiration date.

When renewing by mail, the renewal must be on the Board's renewal form, and must include the current renewal fee and any delinquent fees. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. If a renewal notice is not received, the permit must still be renewed before the expiration date on the permit.

Forms, information about current renewal fees, and requirements may be obtained by contacting:

Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 263-2382 or (800) 633-2322

General Information

Disciplinary Action Disclosure:

When renewing, each licensee must disclose whether they have had any license disciplined by a government agency or other disciplinary body, or, have been convicted of any crime in any state, the USA and its territories, military court or a foreign country. License includes permits, registrations and certificates.

Conviction includes a plea of no contest and any conviction that has been set aside or deferred pursuant to sections 1000 or 1203.4 of the Penal Code, including infractions, misdemeanor, and felonies. You do not need to report a conviction for an infraction with a fine of less than $300 unless the infraction involved alcohol or controlled substances.

Discipline includes, but is not limited to, suspension, revocation, voluntary surrender, probation, or any other restriction.

For additional information, please contact the Medical Board's Consumer Information Unit:

  • Toll-Free: 1-800-633-2322
  • Phone: (916) 263-2382
  • Fax: (916) 263-2435

You may not be able to renew your license if you have been identified to have outstanding tax obligations or family support issues.

Potential License Denial or Suspension for Failure to Pay Taxes

The Board may suspend the license/certificate/registration if you have outstanding tax obligations due to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the State Board of Equalization (BOE) and you appear on either the FTB or BOE's list of top 500 tax delinquencies over $100,000.

Once it has been determined that you are on a delinquent taxpayer list, you have 90 days from the issuance of a preliminary notice of suspension to either satisfy all outstanding tax obligations or enter into a payment installment program with the FTB or BOE. If you fail to come into compliance, your license will be denied or suspended until the Board receives a release from the FTB or BOE. The form for requesting a release will be included with the preliminary notice of suspension.

If you believe you are on a delinquent taxpayer list in error, contact the appropriate entity.

Potential License Denial or Suspension for Failure to Pay Family Support

The Board may suspend the license/certificate/registration if you are delinquent in court-ordered child support payments and your name appears on the Department of Child Support Service’s (DCSS) “Absent Parent Master File" (BPC section 29.5 and FAM section 17520).

Once it has been determined that you are non-compliant, you will be notified and have 150 days to meet the family support obligation or enter into a payment program with the local child support agency. If you fail to come into compliance, your license will be denied or suspended until the Department of Consumer Affairs receives a release from the DCSS County Child Support Agency Services.

For additional information, please contact the Department of Consumer Affair’s Family Support Program at (916) 574-8018.

Failure to Renew:

Any physician and surgeon or doctor of podiatric medicine practicing under a fictitious name without a valid permit may lead to disciplinary action against the individual licensees.

There is no grace period; if a permit has not been renewed within 30 days following the expiration date, the Licensing Program will notify the permit holder by mail. The date a permit expires, the status is changed to "delinquent" if the renewal application and fees due are not received.

If a permit is renewed more than 30 days following the expiration date, the permit holder is required to pay additional fees.

After a permit has been in "delinquent" status for five years, the permit is automatically canceled. A canceled permit may not be reactivated. The permit holder must apply for a new permit and meet the current permit requirements.

Fees Requirement


The renewal fee for a Fictitious Name Permit is $40.00. The renewed permit is valid for two years.

Delinquent Fees: In addition to the renewal fee, a delinquent fee of $20 will be added if payment is not received within 30 days following the expiration date of the permit.

Expired Registrations: The Board will need to determine the correct renewal and delinquent fees. Please contact the Board at (800) 633-2322 or (916) 263-2382 to obtain the current amount you will need to pay.