In the early stages of a start-up, my key market is digital signage, a hardware development kit I use requires signing an NDA to receive the SDK, as stated in the early stages of the start-up.
Do I sign and return the NDA as an individual or register the start-up as a DBA or LLC before I return the NDA?
If I register the start-up first, whats a better option DBA or LLC as unsure if the start-up will even make it off the ground?
Unless the vendor of the hardware development kit has required otherwise, you are probably fine just signing the NDA as a private individual. It is unlikely they are paying any attention and really care who signs it, anyway.
In terms of creating a limited liability organization, I wouldn't bother with that until you actually have some potential liabilities. An LLC protects your personal assets against claims against the business. The only people that are going to have claims against the business are people that have done business with the business, and until you have some of those, the LLC doesn't do anything.