I've been trying to answer a pretty simple question all morning, and have perused about a dozen articles or so like this one that come close to answering it, but don't quite get there.
I want to start a super-simple consulting business, but use an alias/business name. This will be a sole proprietorship and I will be obtaining a DBA.
Do I need to do anything other than register the DBA and pay the associated fee(s)? In other words, like an LLC or C-corp, is there a process and set of documents that must be produced to create a sole proprietorship?
Would I file a separate tax return each year for the sole proprietorship, or would I just file my personal taxes (I'm married and we file jointly) each year?
A simple "sole proprietorship" comes into existence when you say it does. You don't even have to file any forms unless
Your state or local government requires you to, based on the type of business you are conducting
Your clients, partners, or banks require you to
You want to limit your liability, protect your business name, or secure other rights that require registration, licenses, fees, or taxes
You have to declare income from business activity on your personal taxes. Unless you receive the income through an LLC or S-Corp, which must file its own tax declaration and then give you a K-1 to use in preparing your personal taxes, you will declare your business and 1099-MISC income and profit on Schedule C.
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