A girl recently ask me "I want to use an alias for my last name on comp cards instead of using my real last name because I dont want to automatically be set to a hispanic catagory, since I can portray other ethnicities. I guess my question in this case is can I use an alias?"
An alias is perfectly fine. You could even, if you wanted, put on your compcard just even your first name, or a first name,-- your last name on your compcard is not needed. However when it comes to payment and taxes, it is best no matter what Alias you use to let those who are paying you, giving you a check, to know your legal name and information.
Also another option is having a Doing Business As business account and if you plan to model professionally for a long time, then it would be wise to set this up if your Alias is different than your legal name.
You could go to the Courts and set up a business, a corporation, or company under the name you want to use. For example Sarah Smith Co.
You could take this business certificate and take it to your bank and open up attached to your checking account another account called a Doing Business As account or DBA.
This means if someone was to write a check out to Sarah Smith even if her legal name was different, she could deposit the check in her Doing Business As Account. You would still need to take care of your taxes and the work you do as a model would be considered a Doing Business As depoist.
Or simply tell the agent, or person who hires you your real name and have them write out the check to that name. But tell them you prefer to be known to clients and on the job as the name you'd wish, if different. And put the name you want the agency to refer to with clients on your compcard.
I hope this helps.