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How you answer this question may affect your taxes and other expenses associated with conducting a business. associates are prohibited from rendering legal advice or assistance. The following information is from Black’s Law Dictionary – Revised Edition and the Business and Professions Code – Section 17900 and is not intended to provide exact legal definitions under California Law or to bypass the need to consult an attorney.

Individual – One person as distinguished from group or class.

Husband and Wife – A man and a woman lawfully joined in marriage.

Co-partners – A voluntary contract between two or more competent
persons to place their money, effects, labor, and skill, or some or all of them, in a lawful business, with the understanding that there shall be a proportional sharing of the profits and losses between them.

Corporation - An artificial person or legal entity created by or
under the authority of the laws of a state or a nation, composed of a single person and his successors, or an association of numerous individuals. (Corporations declare their corporation status with the state, not the county.)

General Partnership – a partnership in which the parties carry on
all their trade and business, whatever it may be, for the joint benefit and the profit of all the parties concerned, whether the capital stock be limited or not, or the contributions there to be equal or unequal.

Unincorporated Association – An unincorporated group of persons
organized primarily for the collection of claims of its own members.

Joint Venture – A commercial or maritime enterprise undertaken by
several persons jointly; a limited partnership, not limited in the
statutory sense as to liability of the partners, but as to its scope and

Other - An entity, or group of entities that have joined together,
to conduct businesses that do not have the distinction of any other type of filing status. Example: two clubs hat combine their efforts as one single business, for profit or non-profit. (Though, non-profit organizations are not required to file a fictitious business name, some do to establish itself or as required by their financial institution.)

Limited partnership - A partnership consisting of one or more
general partners, jointly and severally responsible as ordinary
partners, and by whom the business is conducted, and one or more special partners, contributing in cash payments a specific sum as capital to the common stock, and who are not liable for the debts of the partnership beyond the fund so contributed.

Limited Liability Company - Same as Limited Partnership except that it is filed at the state level and limits the liabilities of each partner, entity, etc.

Business Trust - As distinguished from a joint-stock company, a pure “business trust” is one which the managers are principals, and the shareholders are cestuis que trust (those who have a right to a beneficial interest in and out of an estate the legal title to which is vested in another.)

As the registrant it is your responsibility to read and be familiar with the requirements for filing an FBN statement. Only portions of the Business and Profession Code sections of the governing FBN statements are included in the instructions.

If you have legal questions regarding filing of any of the above
documents, is a link to California Legal Information. For specific Business and Professions Code visit:, click Business and Professions, type 17900 into the search box and hit search.

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