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.