A sole proprietor can work under her own name or operate under a catchy business nickname. A DBA, which stands for "doing business as," can help you create a marketable trade name and identity. State laws regarding DBAs vary. A reputable, online legal document provider can complete DBA registration requirements that may apply to you.
A sole proprietor is not required to adopt a fictitious, or assumed, name. However, if he does use a DBA, he may be required to register it with his state or county clerk. Generally, you cannot use a DBA that is already registered with another individual or company. It is important to know DBA registration rules that may apply to you. For example, in Michigan, sole proprietors must register their DBA. However, Tennessee does not require sole proprietors to register an assumed name.
Read More: How Long Is a DBA Registration Good for?
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Sole Proprietorship
- The Free Dictionary: Sole Proprietorship
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Register Your Business Name
- Wayne County, Michigan, County Clerk: Assumed Names
- Michigan Legislative Website: Carrying on Business Under Assumed or Fictitious Name
- Washington On the Go: How to Register Your Fictitious or "Doing Business As" (DBA) Name
- U.S. Small Business Association: How to Legally Protect Your Business Name on a Local, State, National, and International Level
Maggie Lourdes is a full-time attorney in southeast Michigan. She teaches law at Cleary University in Ann Arbor and online for National University in San Diego. Her writing has been featured in "Realtor Magazine," the N.Y. State Bar's "Health Law Journal," "Oakland County Legal News," "Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal," "Eye Spy Magazine" and "Surplus Today" magazine.