Do I need to register as a business to sell a few things online?

I want to test the waters by selling some artwork I created online. Do I need to register as a business to do so, or can I just keep records of my sales for taxes? Is there a limit to how much I can sell before I have to register as a business?

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Business Law, Maryland


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The laws for online businesses are always changing. In some states, the secretary of state requires even online businesses to register as a business but others are more lenient. Keep in mind that your brick and mortar business is probably where you live, so start there by inquiring with your secretary of state's office about the requirements. As for issues dealing with taxes for each state, make sure you have a full log. You may wish to check with your local business incubator who often has special and sometimes free brochures and workshops on how to get started and how to comply with state laws.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are simply selling art that you created online, I do not see any real reason why you need to create a business entity to do so and register such. I would simply sell your art individually and then keep your records for the sales for tax records.

Under the laws of all states in this country, there is no reason for you to create a business entity and register such for what you want to do.

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