Yes, you absolutely need an online business license in order to sell online. A business license is an absolute necessity for online selling, and is an essential part of setting up your online company as legal and legitimate. If you are a traditional brick and mortar retailer looking to incorporate an online element into your present retail establishment, you certainly do not require any more paperwork than is absolutely necessary. What you do require is a valid email address.
You may need licenses to sell products, and there are certainly some states and districts that will require some form of licensing before you can set up shop. In some cases, this may be a simple matter of filling out an application with the state or district office that handles business licensing. Other times, however, it will involve much more. For example, if you are going to be selling goods that are manufactured by a company outside of your state, it will be necessary to obtain the appropriate licenses from the country in which the manufacturer ships its goods.
You may also be required to collect sales taxes at the time that you purchase merchandise from an online sales vendor. This is another situation where you do not necessarily have to go through a formal business name application. You may be able to take care of all of these matters yourself, or you may choose to work with an ecommerce company that has already taken care of these matters for you. The important thing to remember is that ecommerce companies will almost always be much more flexible with regards to the collection of these taxes, because they deal with far fewer legal problems than traditional businesses. If you do choose to use an ecommerce company, however, it is strongly suggested that you work with that company exclusively in order to avoid any complications that could arise from non-exclusive licensing agreements.
Once you have chosen the ecommerce business license that you will use to sell online, there are a few other items that you will need to take care of. You will need to create a “store” where you can store all of your items. This includes things such as CDs and DVDs, as well as photographs and other documents that may need to be stored on your computer. Many ecommerce stores will provide storage services for an additional fee, so make sure that you inquire about this when you are researching different companies. It may seem like common sense, but it is surprising how many people neglect to even request storage services from companies before they begin marketing their product.
There are numerous online business licenses that you will be required to utilize. You will find that most of them will only require that you have a computer with internet access and an online account. If you are working with a company that will be providing you with additional services and licenses, these will likely vary. Some companies will only require that you have a reseller account, which is not difficult to set up, but does require you to keep the reseller account separate from your primary account. Other online business licenses will require that you have a hosting account and reseller hosting accounts, both of which are fairly easy to set up on your own.
As you research each type of online business license that you are going to be required to utilize, it is important to note how the company is going to determine how much income you will be able to generate through your online selling endeavors. Most licenses only allow you to generate sales based upon the revenue level that was generated during the time that you were licensed. If you choose to go with a service based license, for instance, you will not be able to begin selling your items until the service has been established and paid for. If you are selling your items over the internet, this can prove to be a big drawback if you do not have an active customer base or if you do not properly market your items.
An ecommerce business license to sell online also has some other stipulations in which you must abide by. You have to follow all of the rules of the company and all of the state laws as they pertain to being a vendor in that particular state. Some states do not allow electronic commerce at all and you could find yourself with a lot of legal hassles and a very limited amount of sales if you are caught doing ecommerce in one of these states. You must also have a way for the consumer to contact you and receive a refund if they are not satisfied with the item that they purchase through your site. You will also have to ensure that all of the products that you sell are covered by the warranty that you provide and any items that are sold as used will need to have a return policy in place in case they are not as advertised.
These are all great pieces of information to take into consideration when you are considering how to obtain online business licenses. If you are looking to work from home and are concerned about starting a legal business then there is probably nothing that will stop you from doing so. You will need to research the different types of licenses that are available to you and determine which ones are right for your purposes. Once you know what you are doing you can find the right kind of license that you need for selling online.