Business Licenses Q&A: Internet Sales Shipping

Audience Question: We recently registered and started filing sales taxes in 31 states because of our internet sales shipping to those states. Does this cause any other filing obligations?

Joe's Response: We would need to give a closer look at each state. For example, in Delaware and The District of Columbia, nearly every business that registers for sales tax is also required to have a business license.

Amanda's Response: Licensing is both business activity specific and location specific. For general retail businesses, filing for sales tax doesn’t necessarily make you subject to a local business license but you may have already been subject to a local business license (from the localities perspective) because of shipments of your product to customers within a locality. Now, because you are filing state sales tax returns, the local authority has an enforcement tool to know that you have a customer in their locality and you may be contacted because they want you to apply for a local business license.

(Author's Note: Business Licenses, LLC was pleased to host a webinar on April 30th, 2014 to discuss emerging trends in business license compliance. During the Q&A, the audience submitted many thought-provoking questions that our panelists didn’t have time to answer. We are going to periodically post those questions to this blog along with answers from the two panelists, Amanda Mattaliano and Joe Vitulli.)

By Alan Ruttenberg