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Business Bits - Making it Legal

Monday, May 24, 2010


Topic: Business Licenses, etc.

Face it. You're in business.

Whether you've got a fancy shmancy site or selling a few quilted coasters on the side....you're in business. If you make profit (which goodness knows, I hope you do! If not, read this post on pricing!!)

Anyhow, there are laws regulating businesses. So.... make sure you're covered.


{{ Image Credit: MayDayStudio }}

I found most of what I needed on my county & state government websites. This government site for business is incredibly straightforward & clear & had links for every state.  It's really just a go-to business site.

What you need:

Business License: approval & small fee required, check with county clerk

Fictitious Business Name (DBA - "Doing Business As") If you operate under a name other than your own. Check county or state government.

Certificate of Resale: If you operate in a state that collects sales tax, you need this to charge your customers tax. This IRS site gives links to each state

Federal Tax ID: If you have employees you'll need this  (note: hiring employees changes your legal structure & is a big step..... e.g moves you from 'sole proprietorship'")

The site MyBusiness, also has fantastic thorough explanations for everything listed above & more.

*Note: my county office was incredibly helpful & walked me through many steps & offered additional assistance & resources for small business owners & entrepreneurs...not as scary as I thought!

2 comments :

Waterrose said...

Great information for someone just starting out, or who didn't know.

smallgrapes said...

I recommend an LLC, personally. It may seem like overkill but it protects personal assets.