As if securing your inventory, learning how to market your business, and budgeting aren't enough, there is still more work to be done, that must not be overlooked: getting legal!
Every state has different laws and requirements when it comes to making sure that you are recognized as a legal business and that you are abiding by tax standards. Many new online business owners forget this step and that's a BIG no no. If you want to really be a business owner, start running your business on the up and up from day one to prevent issues arising down the road. Yes, making sure your business is legal will cost you more money, but it's apart of your start up costs, so get ready to adjust your budget. Below are 3 areas that you should look into to make sure you business is legally sound.
1. Your business structure - Most online businesses operate as a L.L.C or Limited Liability Company but you have options and most of those options will depend on your future plans and what direction you want to take your online business in. No matter what you plan is, you need to decide early on what type of business you will assume and get it taken care of. Why? Choosing a business structure will make your business it's own entity, therefore transferring personal liability from you to your business as a separate entity.
2. Trademarking - "A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services." - United States Patent and Trademarking Office
3. Getting an EIN or Employer Identification Number - Even if you do not have employees, you will need an EIN to file taxes for your business.
Use the resources below to find more information of making sure your business is legal: