If your publishing house will have a name other than your own,
personal name, you will be using what's called a "fictitious business
name," or an "assumed business name," or "DBA" ("doing business as").
If you choose such a business name, you must register it with the
government--in most states, with the local county clerk's office. This
makes it easier for consumers to track down the actual business owner
(if they have a complaint). In addition, "banks won't open an account
under your business name unless you have proof that you have properly
registered the name...you [also] won't be able to enforce any contract
that you sign under the name. Finally, if you don't register your
fictitious name, you aren't giving other businesses notice that it's
already in use. If a competing business can't find out that you're
already using the name, it might take it for its own -- and possibly
take away some of your business as well." ("Registering Your Business
Name," Nolo: http://www.nolo.com/article.cfm/objectID/F508119A-1D7C-4AB4-B7EB37BA9570E0B8/111/228/195/ART/
Because each state has different requirements for fictitious business
name filing, call your county clerk's office, and ask what needs to be
done. They can tell you who to contact, what forms to fill out, and
what the basic procedure is. There is a fee for filing, and it varies
considerably from state to state, though it's typically in the $10 to
For a good overview of fictitious business names and filing, check
out "Doing Business As" at About.com:
In addition, you will need to obtain a business license. Again, the
where and how much varies from state to state. You might look here, to
see if your state is listed:
Licenses, All Business). Or here:
http://www.sba.gov/hotlist/license.html (Where to Obtain Business
Licenses) If it is listed, just click on the link to discover
information about licenses in your state. In any case, be sure to call
your local city and county to find out what their business
requirements are, and whether you need a license through them.
You will also need to register with the IRS. Use the Application for
an Employer Identification Number (EIN), Form SS-4, (available at
you have employees, you must file this paperwork. Depending on your
state, you may need a state tax ID, also. Contact your state's
treasury department or department of revenue to find out what's
I hope this fully answers your questions; if you have any questions,
however, please don't hesitate to request a clarification before
rating this Answer.
Good luck with your business!
Researcher's personal knowledge
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