View Full Version : business license?

12-31-2010, 09:15 AM
Just wondering what most of you all are doing for business licenses?

12-31-2010, 10:59 AM
We have a state business license and a city business license for the city in which we operate. In many cases you must additionally buy a temporary license in cities in which you sell at craft shows, etc, if your licenses in not for that city. In other cases the fee you pay to the organizers includes a temp license for those that are not already licensed there. Sometimes it seems that the government makes more from our work than we do. But we pay all that we are required to pay for the privilege of serving the politicians.

12-31-2010, 12:34 PM
Does a "hobbyist" need a licenses?

12-31-2010, 12:37 PM
Does a "hobbyist" need a licenses?

Thats a good question, but I'm betting if your EVER sell any of your work... then you probably do. The goverment is gonna wanna collect thier cut of any sale (sales tax), and at least in PA, you need to have a liscense to collect sales/use tax. I have two side line businesses that I needed to get lisenses for, but thankfully (or regretfully?) I've never sold nor plan on selling anything I've made with the cw. It is truely just a hobby for me. I'm sure it varies by state/locality.

12-31-2010, 12:53 PM
I saw something that less than $2K a year is a hobby... Greater than that you need a sales tax and license... I have a PA Sales Tax Number and a Local License.

The advantage of doing it as a business is the tax deduction of the equipment and supplies....

Zoning is the biggy.... In PA since I have my business in 2 out buildings I had to go thought Zoning... Full Blown Zoning is Handicap Access and Bathrooms with PennDOT approval for road access..... A Very Big Deal..... OR you can go for Low Impact Zoning.... In my case.... NO Showroom, NO visitors to the Shop, NO Road Sign, No Employees except ME, NO Septic System, Water, Big Parking Lot, NO 18 Wheel Deliveries, etc.... Works for ME.... 90% find me on the Internet or I go to shows.

IF I had done the Business in a Building that was Physically Attached to the House, I could have made Thermal Nuclear Weapons and the State and Township would not care..... Well, almost not care.... LOL...

When the Township sends you the Cease and Desist Order or you get POPPED at a Craft Show for not collecting Sales Tax.... Well then life gets interesting......

When you are making that Craft Show Sale and see a guy in the distance with a video camera pointed your way... SMILE.... Your Customer most likely has a hidden camera too.... Enforcement of Sales Tax Collection is a big source of Money.... I gave up my New York Sales Tax License and won't do any shows just 6 miles away on New York State.... It was not worth the hassel.... NY even charges $50.00 if your late and didn't collect or owe NY Tax.... Expect to hear of more Sales Tax Stings in the next few years.

Don't forget about the Fictitious Business Name Listing in the Newspaper.....

A Local guy bought a 8 x 8 metal shed for his yard.... Did not get a Zoning Permit and was charged Thousands in Fines as he tried to fight it..... Zoning is something to not ignore.... If you put a sign out on the street.... Expect a Zoning Visit....

One of my Competitors for Signs is a Retired guy in the Community that I sell my signs in. He has a Rockler Plastic Templates and a Router. He makes very nice signs and charges $35.00 and no sales tax. He does it as a hobby. I make the same sign with the CW and charge $65.00 plus tax.... $85.00 with a bear on 2 sides.... I do it as a business and pay 30% in income tax.... I can hear the GASP and Vapor Lock over the phone, when I get a call for a sign now that my Retired Buddy has gone to Flordia... $65.00 !!!!!

Then I explain the Business / Hobby thing and that I can Offer MORE.... with the CW.... More Fonts, Sizes, Carvings, etc.... A Vapor Lock last week turned into a $112.00 order this week with delivery/install and a Lyon Carving plus TAX... Still trying to get the Lyon License to load.... I sent her 26 Lyon Options from the Pattern Depot... Next will be Font Choices... MORE.... VALUE.... So don't be afraid to CHARGE....


12-31-2010, 01:36 PM
I saw something that less than $2K a year is a hobby... Greater than that you need a sales tax and license... I have a PA Sales Tax Number and a Local License.


As Doug said, it depends on your location and local government.
In Washington, you do not need a license to have a yard sale... unless you have one every week, then you are a dealer and will be required to get a license. You can also sell a used car or even 5. If you sell 6 then you are a used car dealer and need a license. If you sell anything at fairs, craft shows, etc, then you need a state business license, you must collect and pay to the state all sales tax and at least a temporary one or two day city business license for what ever juristiction you are in at the time.

Zoning!!! Along with my state business license, federal tax id, and city business license I was required to apply to the COUNTY (they don't require a business license) for zoning approval. A court hearing where neighbors could come and testify either for or against me. I had to have proper off street parking, handicapped parking, special door knobs so that handicapped folks could open the doors of my shop and if the projected trips per day for customers exceeded the road construction plan I would have had to build or improve the county road! Plus a thousand other things that I can't even think of right now.

Can you figure out why everyone is moving to India???????????????????? Or why American business is a thing of the past??