Baltimore, MD asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Contracts, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Maryland

Q: If I wish to place my graphic designs on stationary, tee shirts, and mugs, and sell them via Amazon, do I need... obtain a DBA from the state if I wish to sell the products in my name (no branding) as a sole proprietor.

Also, do I need to register with the state at all if I operate as a sole proprietor AND I will NOT have NOR hold any inventory? (It would be a "print on demand" side gig.).

Also, if I do decide to have branding later, can I acquire a DBA at that time?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: If you plan to conduct business under your own name as a sole proprietor, obtaining a DBA ("Doing Business As") is not typically required. However, if you decide to sell your products under a name other than your legal name, then a DBA would be necessary. The requirement to register your business with the state varies based on local laws and the nature of your business.

Even as a sole proprietor, some states require registration for tax purposes or other regulatory reasons. The fact that you won't hold inventory doesn't exempt you from these requirements. If you decide to introduce branding later, you can acquire a DBA at that time to operate under the new name.

It's a good idea to check your state's specific requirements for sole proprietors, as regulations can differ. Keeping abreast of legal and regulatory requirements ensures your business operates smoothly and legally.

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