When you start a business in Pennsylvania, you must choose a name for the business and register it with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State. If you are starting a business as a sole proprietorship or a partnership, and you choose a name that is not your surname, then it is a fictitious name. If you start a limited liability company or a business corporation, then the name you put down on the certificate of organization or the articles of incorporation is the legal name of the business, but if you choose to operate under a different name, then the other name you have chosen is a fictitious name. Fictitious names are the equivalent to a "Doing Business As," or "DBA", name and you must file the fictitious name with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State.
Navigate to the "Pennsylvania Department of State Corporation Bureau" Web page. Once you arrive at this page, locate the section of the page titled "Forms." Under the "Forms" page you will find a category of documents labeled "Fictitious Names."
Download and complete the "Registration of Fictitious Names" form. The form will require you to supply the fictitious name, a summary of the business, the business's physical address, and the names and addresses of all people and entities that run the business.
Carefully read the instructions for filing the "Registration of Fictitious Names" form. In some instances, additional documentation may be required, such as if you need consent to use the fictitious name. The instructions will also provide you with the appropriate address to which you submit the form for filing.
Submit the "Registration of Fictitious Names" form with the appropriate fee to the Pennsylvania Department of State. The fee for filing the form is $70.