I would like to be able to cash checks made out to "Code Developr" in the USA. I am in the state of Florida. I do not have an LLC or Corporation. The nature of the business at this point will be freelance work but in the future it could be kind of a shell or parent to any other ventures I take in.
I would like to, if possible not have to form a corporation or LLC and have to deal with all the annual reports and tax, etc... But I would like to cash checks made out to that name..
Could someone with more experience tell me some options I have here?
What you are talking about is Doing Business As (DBA):
Here are the Florida rules for DBA :
Choosing a DBA Start a Business
Register with the State: With a DBA/fictitious name you will be able to register the name with the state to conduct business with this name for the entire state. A lot of very small businesses choose this path, or those who are not sure if the company is going to fly and want to start small and work up to incorporating later.
What to Consider: If you choose the DBA as your filing, then name you choose can be used by another company. So the name is not to you alone in Florida. The other thing to consider is that if you file a DBA, there is no limited liability. What this may mean to you is that if someone sued the company, your personal assets would be available in a lawsuit. If this is not a concern then a DBA would be fine.
Legal Notice and Business License: Once you have the DBA filed with the state, then you will need to do a Legal Notice in a local newspaper, then obtain a business license with your county. A business license/occupational license or business tax receipt is required by most counties in Florida to have the legal ability to do have a business in that county. Check with your local tax collectors office to see what they require.
Unfortunately it looks like this is not as cheap as one would perhaps like, plan on spending $100-$150. Perhaps you might like to checkout a LLC as an alternative?
You need to open and register a business with the state of Florida, or your local municipality. Consult and accountant for details. Once you have that paperwork done you can take it to a bank and open a checking account under that business name.
The banks will only deposit checks made out to "Cash" or if they are Named like "Code Developr" you will need to prove that "Code Developr" = "Jason Davis". If you can't you are out of luck or you will need to find a cash checking place and hope they don't charge you too much for having no scruples.
Additionally, you will want to consider an LLC or corporate structure, in order to protect yourself from liability claims, whether warranted or not. LLCs are easier to setup, particularly for a single-person business (and for that matter, you can simply have the LLC's income/losses pass-through to yourself, so that you don't need to worry about complications at tax time.)