Business Licenses

- Cathy

In regard to business licenses, I've heard...

(a) you don't need one if you are selling small items in small amounts.

(b) you need one in each state that you sell.

(c) you just need one.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Business License Information

I understand how confusing -- and frustrating -- it is when everyone gives you a different answer to the same question.

Several things come into play on this....

For one thing, people mix up terms. Some folks mistakenly think that a business license and sales tax license are the same thing. They aren't. A business license shows you have registered your business. A sales tax license, which is more correctly referred to as a sales tax permit or an "authority certificate to collect sales tax" is a separate critter.

Another thing is that some people look at what is legally required and others look at what you can probably get by with (or without). I'd guess there are many small business owners who don't bother with a business license, don't get caught, and don't worry about whether what they are doing is right or wrong.

A third things is that it depends on what kind of business you have and how you work it. If you rent a sticks and bricks gift shop for a few months you'll have different requirements than if you set up for a weekend at the local flea market. And, if you are selling only online, then that's different, too.

Still another thing is that regulations vary not only from state to state, but also from county to county, or even from city to city, within the same state.

Seems to me you would want to register your business and get a business license from wherever it is that you base your business. If you are looking at being a sole proprietor and a home-based business, I would think that would probably be wherever you have your legal residence.

As you travel, you can check out local requirements to see what you need to do for that particular state / county / city.

I can't give you legal or tax advice. You'd need to see a lawyer, accountant, or other appropriate professional for that.

More Business License Info

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Business License Requirements

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