Fictitious Name Permit Fact Sheet

Written by Sarah Lim, CA Lic# 0M52397

Fictitious Name Permit Fact Sheet

Fictitious Name Permits (FNP’s) are required for those physicians, surgeons, and podiatrists who wish to practice medicine under a name that is different than that listed on the medical license.  Note that the FNP address must be in California.

It is important that applicants for an FNP provide three fictitious name choices.  If only one name is supplied, the application process can be slowed down due to availability issues for that name.  The name may not be available because it has been taken by someone else or it is too similar to the one that is taken.  Applicants are advised to avoid common names as well.  You can check if the name has already been taken by someone else on the Board’s website:

Please note that applicants are allowed to continue practicing but are not allowed to use the FNP for advertising or any other marketing materials until it has been approved by the Board.  Please note as well that the use of the FNP is not guaranteed just because the corporation has been registered with the Secretary of State’s office.  Furthermore, it is not required that the FNP match the corporation name registered with the Secretary of State.

FNP’s are non-transferrable.  If a doctor sells his or her practice, the FNP will not transfer to the new owner.  The FNP will need to be cancelled and a new application must be submitted by the new owner.  The Board recommends that the cancellation form and the new application be submitted together for a smoother transition. 

Pursuant to the Moscone-Knox Professional Corporation Act, a licensed physician or group of licensed physicians must own the FNP and at least 51% of the professional medical corporation organized. 

A layperson or limited liability company (LLC) cannot have an FNP.  If more than one physician owns the FNP and then wants to disassociate himself or herself at any point, the FNP Notification of Partnership Change must be filled out and signed.  To add or delete shareholders, an FNP Notification of Shareholder Change must be used.

If a physician partner or shareholder dies, the Board must be presented with a death certificate in order to make the necessary changes to the FNP. 

Any change of address for an FNP must be filed with the Board within 30 days after the business moves.  The address must be in the state of California. 

It should take no longer than 4 weeks for an FNP to get approved, assuming that the application is completed correctly and all required documentation are included (ex: endorsed copy of the Articles of Incorporation from the Secretary of State’s office and a check for the $50 processing fee made out to the Medical Board of California).  Once your FNP is approved, you must use the name exactly as it appears on the approved application for advertising purposes. 

All forms relating to FNP’s can be found on the Board’s website: