The first thing you’ll come across will be DBA and FBN, which stands for doing business as and fictitious business name respectively (basically your company name). Before anything, you might be wondering, why do I need a company name and register it? You need one because most personal bank account restrict cash flows. Meaning that it won’t allow you to accept multiple flows of payments, leaving your restricted. So yea, you are going to need a business name and bank account to handle business. (However, not all states require DBA).
If you don’t want to file a DBA, then you don’t really need to. DBA are only required if you are operating sole proprietorship or partnership under a name other than your personal legal name or last name (which is why you see lots of companies with people’s name on it).
DBA filings are only required if you are operating a corporation or LLC under a name other than its legal name as filed with the state. Go to your county clerk’s office or with your state government, depending on where your business is located. There are few states that do not require the registering of fictitious business names. DBA is simply a name statement registered with the state and not an official business formation like a corporation or an LLC. Truth to be told, articles of incorporation or articles of organization are enough for official name registration and business name transaction with financial institutions provided the entity uses its legal name. DBA doesn’t guarantee exclusive use of a name and most cases, the state or county will file any correctly prepared fictitious business name statement regardless of name conflict. State laws differ, so make sure to educate yourself on everything your state has to offer. For example, state law differs regarding DBA publication, so some state might require publication. This means that DBA statement must be published once a week, in a specific newspaper that posts legal notices, for four consecutive weeks.
So the question is, can I conduct business and open a bank account before my DBA has been filed? You shouldn’t be doing this until you filed a DBA statement. Most banks won’t allow you to open a business bank account until they see proof of the filed DBA. However, many banks are different, so make sure to do your research.
Now that you have your business name, you are going to need either your social security number or tax identification number (EIN or FEIN). Most people obtain the later because it simplifies separating business and personal statements. This is for tax purpose and it helps your accountant better budget your income statement and financial statement.