As an actor, do I need to apply for a DBA for my stage name which differs from my legal name?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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As an actor, do I need to apply for a DBA for my stage name which differs from my legal name?

I have been working as a professional actor under a stage name for 9 years. This name change was required by the union as there was already a member working under my legal name. I am now working towards becoming a producer and would like to continue using my stage name, which is now recognized in my industry/community. Do I need to apply for a DBA to continue using my professional name?

Asked on August 25, 2011 Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Usually a "dba" an acronymn for "doing business as" is reserved for a person who is supplying services or product where that person does not operate out of a corporation or limited liability company. Many people in your industry simply go bay an "alias" and do not register their stage name as a "dba".

Technically you do not need to apply for a "dba" to continue using your "professional name" but if you wish to, there seems to be nothing preventing you. Typically one registers a "dba" in the county of the state where he or she does their principal business through the county's fictitious name department. The registration is good for a certain period of time if approved. Therefter, you will need to renew it if you wish to continue using it.

Good question.

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