Chapter 1

Getting Legal with the State and the Feds


check Filing a fictitious name statement (for real)

check Getting a business license and other regulatory details

check Choosing a legal business format

If you’ve bought and sold on eBay, had some fun, and made a few dollars, good for you — enjoy yourself! When you start making serious money, however, the government no longer considers your business to be a hobby. It’s time to consider some issues such as business structure, tax planning, and licenses; this chapter offers as painless an entrée as possible.

When you’re concentrating on fulfilling multiple orders and keeping your customers happy, the last thing you need is a G-man breathing down your neck. Worst-case scenario: How about getting audited in December when you haven’t been keeping up-to-date records all year? I know this sounds like stripping the fun out of doing business on eBay, but taking a bit of time and effort now can save you a ton of trouble later on (and will save you money in penalties).

Giving Your Business an Official Name

In most states in the United States, you used to be able to find liner ads in the classified section of the local newspaper. They’re ...

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