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Details vary by locality. You need to file with your city or county, then publish n times in a "newspaper of record."
You don't need or corporation or LLC, but you can't entitle the account or accept checks other than in your own name otherwise.
Once exception is if you use your own name in the fictitious name. For example, "John Doe Bail Bonds".
That is, IF you are John Doe. I think you can get away with just your last name, but not just your first. "Doe Plumbing", but not "John Plumbing".