Do I need a license for an on-line business?

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Do I need a license for an on-line business?

I want to start selling my artwork, specifically oil paintings of names, for people’s children, pets, etc. I want to open up a Facebook page to advertise and sell my art to people that way. I was planning on opening a Paypal account, people would transfer in the money, and I would mail them the art. Do I need a business license to this and do I need to do anything with the name to make it legal?

Asked on May 6, 2011 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I would strongly suggest that you seek advice from an attorney that formulates businesses in your state.  First, check with the department of state and the state attorney general's office as to what types of business require licensing.  Next, you need to make sure that you personally are protected so it may be a good idea to form some sort of corporation - a limited liability corportaiotn  or another type of corporation - and to transfer the artwork in toe the corporation as an asset.  As for the business name,. that would be run through the department of corporations to make sure that you are not infringing on another's name.  And your county may have a requirement that you register the business there as well.  Good luck to you. 


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