Do I need special business licensing for an online retail business?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

An award-winning small business attorney in New York City, Nina is a sought-after professional speaker and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She is the go-to counsel for knowledge economy and creative companies, delivering legal services and educational resources that save them time, money, and aggravation.

Posted on September 26, 2014 in Form a Company

Q.:  What business licensing is generally required to run an online retail business? I want to run this business out of my home starting out and then eventually expand to a retail store


A.:  Generally, the business licensing required for an online retail business is not substantially different than a storefront business:

  • You will want to form a business entity in your state.
  • You will want to register with your state to collect and remit sales tax on any sales that you make in your state.
  • If you will be holding substantial inventory, you will also want to check your lease or deed/zoning codes to see if there are any prohibitions on running a business like the one you’re contemplating out of your home.

Also make sure to invest in the appropriate business insurance covering your activities.  Get a local business attorney and accountant on your team right away to put the right building blocks in place.


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