How to Start (and Keep) a Sole Proprietorship: 

Formation and Other Required Formalities: 

6 steps

1. Name:
If you wish to use a business name other than your own name, you must generally contact the local, state, or county agency that handles assumed name registrations to register that name as a fictitious/assumed business name.  Assumed name registrations must be renewed, so keep track of any renewal requirements.

For clear identification, and to avoid infringing others’ legal rights, you will likely want to select a unique name.  Attempt to determine whether your chosen business name is already being used by doing a general online search, searching your local fictitious or assumed name database, searching state and federal trademark databases, and searching your state’s limited partnership, corporation, and limited liability company databases.  A domain name search may also be helpful.

If desired, you may also register your business name as a state or federal trademark.  This is a good idea, but not a requirement.

2. State Formation Filings:
You generally should not have to file state forms to create a sole proprietorship, but confirm this with your Secretary of State.

3. Licenses:

You must determine whether your business requires any licenses.  You can generally search for this information online or at your local library, contact your local or state government for more information, or seek help from a local business attorney.  Perform a search regarding licenses related to your location and industry.  Follow all rules and procedures.