If you're opening an actual eBay business rather than just selling your old stuff, you'll likely need to acquire a business license or two. You'll probably need a doing business as (DBA) license, and depending on what your business supplies, may need some others. This guide will take you through some of the potential business license requirements you may need in order to legally open your eBay business.
Doing Business As (DBA) License
A doing business as license is necessary for any business which is operating under a name different from the name of the proprietor. For example, a Mrs. Jones could open a business called "Mrs. Jones' Cookies" without a doing business as license, assuming that she was in fact selling cookies. However, if she wanted to name her business "Scrumptious Snacks," she would need a doing business as license. This license allows bank accounts to be made and checks to be written and cashed in the business' name.
If you are selling goods regularly and for profit through eBay, chances are that your state will require you to have an auction license. Although not every state or zone requires an auction license to open a business on eBay, many do for 2 reasons. The first reason is for consumer safety, as it gives consumers a course of action if they feel they have been taken advantage of. The second reason is for income tax purposes. Even if your area does not require you to have an auction license, it wouldn't hurt you to have one just in case. It might even bring you more business if people feel safer doing business with a licensed seller.
Business Specific Licenses
Depending on the goods which your business offers, you may be required to obtain licenses. An at home bakery which sells cupcakes through eBay, for instance, would need a baking license. If your business sells consumables or cosmetics, you should be especially careful about obtaining the proper licenses and also consider some form of liability coverage in case a customer has an allergic reaction.
State and Zone Required Licenses
The state or zone in which you live may have more specific business licensing requirements which you need to observe. The best way to find out exactly what licenses you will need to open you business is to contact your local Small Business Administration and tell them the nature of the eBay business you wish to open. Local Small Business Administrations can help you find exactly what you need for the specific state and zone in which you reside. They make sure you don't miss anything that would hurt you later.
The license requirements to open an eBay business, or any business, vary by state and zone. Be sure to give a call or visit to a local Small Business Administration to find out precisely what licenses you need to run legally.