This option offers no protection to the owner, but is the simplest to set up.
No papers need to be filed, you simply start doing business. For a small business with exposure to only minimal risk, a sole proprietorship may be acceptable. However since any lawsuit puts your personal assets including your home, car and bank accounts at risk, most individuals want to consider a more formal business entity.
If you do conduct business as a sole proprietorship, but plan to do business under a different name, you need to file a trade name application (sometimes called a “d/b/a” or “doing business as”). Filing is simply a matter of completing a short form indicating your name, the trade name, business location and paying a small fee.
Upon completion, you will be able to open a bank account in the trade name and conduct business in the trade name.