For the purposes of this questions, let's say I have a domain example.com. Eventually, I want to form Example LLC in California, where I live. However, at this point in time, I don't want to, because I'm not 18 and I'd prefer to do this on my own. Under California law, can I write a Terms of Service for my website (but where I don't sell anything) with Example instead of my name? The reason I ask this is because I understand you have to use your real name, establish an LLC/Corp, or file a DBA.
A Terms of Service is a type of contract, and contracts can only bind legal entities (persons, natural or artificial (e.g. a corporation)). So you can't have a contract binding the visitor to something that doesn't exist.
According to this, a DBA wouldn't help you either, because under the same rules of capacity as above, a DBA doesn't have legal capacity.
Example: Alfreda Smith conducts herAs always, for an answer you can count on, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer (which this is, and I am, not). You may also want to drop a line to Mark Bao, and see if he'd be willing to tell you about his experiences setting up companies as a minor.
florist business under the registered
fictitious business name, "Blooming
Right". Florist Supplies, Inc. wants
to enter into a contract with Blooming
Right to supply Blooming Right's stock
of tulips. As Blooming Right is not a
legal entity and only a DBA ("doing
business as", another term for a
fictitious business name), Blooming
Right does not have legal capacity to
enter into the supply contract with
Florist Supplies, Inc..
Yes, you "can" write Terms of Service. The issue, then, will be how many problems you are creating:
Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.