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If you practice medicine in California, you may have additional hoops to jump through. The Medical Board of California requires physicians who practice under a name different from their own to obtain a Fictitious Name Permit (FNP). If you do not have this permit, you may be cited for unprofessional conduct.


Let’s use John Smith as an example. If John is an orthopedic surgeon, and forms a professional corporation called “California Orthopedics,” John must obtain an FNP.


A person must obtain an FNP though the Medical Board of California. The application requires the entity type, the articles of incorporation, a $70 check, and a hard copy of the application with your signature on the page. In total, the application process may take up to 8 weeks.


On top of the FNP, you may also need a DBA. If you practice under a name different than the one listed on the Secretary of State’s website, you will need to file a DBA with the county where you conduct business.


Back to the example above. If John’s professional corporation is called “California Orthopedics” but he advertises his practice as “Bay Area Orthopedics,” John will also need to obtain a DBA on top of his FNP.


When starting a medical practice in California, obtaining these permits are things that you may not think about. However, they will save you from any unnecessary hardships in the future.


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