There are specific steps that a sole proprietor in California can take to operate their business legally. One crucial step is to register a DBA with the state if they want to operate under a different name other than their own.

For more information general information about starting a sole proprietorship check out:
Starting a Sole Proprietorship in California

What is a DBA?

The acronym DBA stands for "doing business as." This term refers to a situation in which an entrepreneur or company does business under a different name than its legally registered one. A DBA is also called an FBN, or "fictitious business name."

DBAs protect consumers from unscrupulous business owners. A DBA prevents a business owner or sole proprietor from evading liability by operating under a different name. At the same time, it allows business owners to choose a name for their operation that may be more marketable to their audience than their legal name.

When is a DBA Required in California?

A DBA is always required in California when a sole proprietor, or any other business entity, wants to operate and sign legal documents under a different name. The only exception to this rule is if a sole proprietor incorporates his or her last name into the business name.

For example, if someone named John Smith wanted to start a business called "Smith's Auto Repairs," they may not need to file a DBA. However, if they wanted to call their operation "John's Auto Repairs," then a DBA would be required. A DBA would also be necessary if they wanted to choose a completely different name for their company, such as "A1 Auto Repairs," or "Superior Auto Repairs."

Many sole proprietors are required to file a DBA in the state of California. The only exception is when the owner's last name is part of the business name. DBAs protect consumers, and at the same time, allow business owners to brand their operation appealingly.

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