Sounds like you finally got some good information from the CPA. Most of the information in this thread is worth less than you paid to get it. You absolutely can run as a sole proprietorship or "DBA". If your customers are ok writing checks out to you personally then that's good enough for starting out. There are advantages to an LLC as your business progresses but for $0 formation cost you can operate as a sole proprietorship until you have finances available to form an LLC or whatever other type of organization best fits you.
Collecting personal checks for work done isn't tax evasion it's called collecting for work performed. Not paying taxes on those checks is called tax evasion. Every tax return program in the world gives you an option to claim additional income not registered on on a w-2, that would be where you claim the additional income. As long as you keep good records of the money you make and checks you cash through the business and make sure to file all of them at tax time you will be just fine.
Insurance is a very good idea but again as you posted not required (it is required in some areas). A commercial policy on your vehicle is required or a claim will be denied if you're using your truck for the business at the time of the accident.
EIN is only required if you have employees, not required for a sole proprietor however you can get one and it's an extra bit of protection to show the IRS you're here and you plan on paying your taxes.
Last edited by TTS; 07-09-2013 at 12:26 PM.