Wednesday July 27, 2016

Late 19th/early 20th century tradition meets early 21st century tech

I filed a "Fictitious Business Name" application this month. The process seems, largely, to be stuck in the late 19th / early 20th centuries. According to San Mateo County, CA, the process requires:

  • Fill out the form (this, surprisingly, can be done online).
  • Make four copies of the form.
  • Write a check (I still have a checkbook for this sort of thing.)
  • Prepare a self-addressed stamped envelope (or drive to / walk into the County offices in person).
    • When the County receives the application:

      • Each sheet of the printout is stamped with where it needs to go:
        • one for the county
        • one for me
        • one for the bank if needed
        • one for the newspaper

      • Submit the last sheet to a newspaper and request that they publish my FBN for 4 weeks.
        The Newspaper will then file an Affidavit of Publication with the County.

      My first attempt was to mail the 4 sheets with the requested SASE. This failed because I did not also include a notarized "Affidavit of Identity" (which became required in 2014). I did not include the Affidavit because there is nothing on the form or in the instructions that says it's required (or where to find it) even though the form lists what I need to include in my filing.

      So, the County Clerk mailed everything back to me (at county expense; not using my SASE). They also failed to respond to my email asking if they had ever received my application.

      My second attempt succeeded because I drove down to Redwood City, walked into the County Clerk's area, waited in a (short, I'm happy to say) line, and filed the application in person.

      Then I walked out and back to the early 21st Century.

      One of the authorized / suggested newspapers is the San Mateo Daily Journal. Their process worked like this:

      • Open browser to FBN page for San Mateo Daily Journal
      • Fill in web form
      • Upload scanned copy of "newspaper" sheet from the four application pages
      • Pay with Credit Card
      • Confirmation number on next page
      • Receipt by email the next day
      It's good to be back in 2016.

      Late 19th/early 20th century tradition meets early 21st century tech ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Wed, 27 Jul, 12:28 Pacific | «e»

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