Rental Business

I’m getting married this year, and am accumulating a lot of wedding decor. Instead of selling it all after I’m done, I want to rent it out. Obviously, I’m going to do this as needed, and won’t be operating a true business. But how I am different from businesses who do rentals and charge taxes? At what point am I a ‘business’?

Asked on March 11, 2017 under Business Law, South Dakota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you do anything for profit, you are running a business: the law does not draw distinctions based on how much business you have or how much you make. If in your state, you have to collect sales tax on rentals like this, you'll have to do so and send the tax to the government; you will have to reflect any profit you make on your income tax; and you should have insurance, in case someone is injured using some you rent and sues you. Being in business is like being pregnant--just as there is no such thing as being "a little bit pregnant," since you are either pregnant or not, similarly, you are in business (doing things for profit) or not.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you do anything for profit, you are running a business: the law does not draw distinctions based on how much business you have or how much you make. If in your state, you have to collect sales tax on rentals like this, you'll have to do so and send the tax to the government; you will have to reflect any profit you make on your income tax; and you should have insurance, in case someone is injured using some you rent and sues you. Being in business is like being pregnant--just as there is no such thing as being "a little bit pregnant," since you are either pregnant or not, similarly, you are in business (doing things for profit) or not.


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