Filing for a DBA means that an individual or an entity is, "doing business as" some other assumed name. Filing for a DBA is generally called filing for a fictitious name and the process for obtaining a fictitious name is the same for a recording studio as it is for any other type of entity. If you are operating your recording studio as a sole proprietor, you will need to file for a fictitious name in order to operate under a business name. But if you already have a registered business entity, you may operate your recording studio under the name of the entity rather than file for a fictitious name.
Why Register for a DBA
Sole proprietors require fictitious names so they can operate under a business name other than their given name. Even a recording studio name such as, "Bolton Brothers Recording Studio" will require a fictitious name registration. On the other hand, corporations, limited liability companies and other entities may use fictitious names when they desire to operate under a name other than the name of their registered entity.
Selecting a Name
In order to file for a fictitious name, you will need to select an appropriate name for your recording studio. You should avoid selecting a name that is already in use by another company as you could be engaging in trademark infringement. You should conduct a trademark search in federal and state databases in order to determine if your fictitious name is already being used by someone else. You should also consider hiring an attorney or a legal service to conduct a more in-depth background search on your desired name.
A fictitious name is registered with the state in which your recording studio resides. Not all states require registration of a fictitious name, some states merely give the recording studio owner the option of filing a trade name with the secretary of state. Check with your state's secretary of state or department of state office in order to determine the proper procedure for assuming a fictitious name.
As fictitious names are filed with your state government, the procedure will vary in most states. In general, fictitious names are usually registered with the county clerk's office or the department of state. You will likely be required to pay a small fee in order to assume a fictitious name for your recording studio. Additionally, some states require that you publish your intent to use your fictitious name in a well circulated newspaper prior to assuming the name.