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  • Restarting from scratch and need advice

    Ok I used to have a business. I went and obtained a "business license" and got a website. I ended up with nothing but trouble. I got bombarded with people telling me that by law I had to get these "Labor Law" signs and then the property appraiser said I had to file this form for all my equipment...

    First, I don't own any new equipment. I use my home computer with programs I pretty much already owned or would have owned for hobby's sake. I didn't fill it out because I don't have any cash registers, etc. So now, they are saying I will owe some fee for not filing. I hardly made anything last year. I mean I it was under a grand for the year and if you minus out the web cost and any advertising it was way less. Then, they wanted me to give my place of residence which at the time was an apartment so I used my mom's house because you can't have a business in an apartment. But... technically I don't do any "business" out of my home. No one comes here, and I don't go to anyone. So here's my question.

    If I start over new, with a new domain... and I only do business online, my office is basically cyberspace, and I register the domain name... do I have to have a business license or file for a corporation? I mean I don't have all that they are wanting me to take care of like employees, etc. Could you imagine... I hang a labor law sign for myself... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    How many of you have an actual business license in your state and if so ... are you having these problems? Please help!

  • #2
    You're right that it's a state-by-state thing. My state has no such requirements. If I'm not being too nosy, what state are you in? Here's a good link for all states:

    http://www.sba.gov/hotlist/license.html

    Premises inspections and licenses are generally only for businesses with retail traffic (ie: customer comes to you) or if you have employees that work at your site. If you make certain you only sell services and not items you generally won't even have to worry about registering for and collecting taxes. But again, this can vary by location.
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    • #3
      Besides being a state thing, i think it also depends on what kind of business you are. I think a sole proprietor will give you the most freedom, but will also expose you to the most risk. I became an L.L.C. (Limited Liability Corporation) in 2000. It's very similar to a sole proprietor but my personal liability is seperate from my business. You should talk to a lawyer and an accountant before deciding. As an L.L.C. i have to file papers for sales tax purposes and I also have to file an annual report every year. My local ordinances allow me to run a business from my home as long as it's not a retail business. I have a state tax id number which allows me to make purchases without paying sales tax on certain items (items that will be used for resale). Being an L.L.C. also allows me to make deductions on my equipment and my home (I have an office in my home for business only) as well as other expenses like telephone, stamps, supplies, mileage. I have an accountant that helps me make sure I'm legal. Without her help, I don't think I'd be in business very long.

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