Anybody familiar with business laws and such things??

By Vigilante ยท 8 replies
Apr 1, 2006
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  1. Hey, since this is my favorite forum, and I'm sure there are people in here that work for local governments, I have a question.

    Say I want to start an online business. Nothing fancy, and not even selling my own products, but reselling someone else's. But even still, I have to have a name right? Yes, so I make up a name and buy the domain etc...

    Of course I plan on making money, and that goes through paypal. But my question is, what do I have to do in regards to my chosen "name"?
    Do I have to register something? Do I need to register a DBA? Isn't that only for local businesses? How do I go about thinking about taxes? If there's no tax due to online sales, isn't there still income tax on my end? If so, in the name of my business or myself? If business name, how do I set it up that way?

    I just want to make sure my business name is my own. But I won't be setting up an LLC or or any such thing. No special bank accounts or nothing. It's all my personal deal, except my business name.

    So what do I need to know?

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    ok, there are layers upon layers in your question.

    1) the business name. It must be unique in various ways.
    For example, if you wish to operate under a DBA (doing business as),
    you file the name in the County and publish it in the paper. There are
    issues for personal liability using a DBA, but lots of people use this 'entity'.

    If you're getting serious on running a business, you ought to look-up
    LLC, S-Corp 'entities and filing with the State.

    If you're going to run as a mom-pop business, ie: no employees, then
    you're ususally free from workman's comp and payroll taxes, but check with
    the Secretary of State (Arizona) and the other State departments for
    employer regulations.

    2) as for a web site, you need to register a domain-name, which can again
    be anything that's unique (after all, the url can only point to one location).
    Find a registar you're happy with and file for the chosen name.

    Then you'll need a web hosting site OR to purchase a static IP address and
    host the site on your equipment (high suggest this is not the path to take).
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    Using a DBA, you can do as you please, but the income comes to you as a
    Sole Proprietor and you file Fed/State using Schedule C
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    I was reading that a DBA is sort of a "local" thing when you start a business. I'm just going to have a web site and take paypal from a SINGLE source. So I will have no local advertising or physical "shop".

    So even though I'm setting up and non-local business which is entirely on the web and global in scope, I should file a local DBA? Simply because that's where I live?

    As for LLC. The company I work for has that. And I see it tagged on the name of a business here and there. But it doesn't seem very common, unless they choose not to show LLC in their name. I don't know

    I guess the more important question is whether, when I start receiving money, and it won't be anything large, nothing to write home about, I'm just wondering if I can get in to trouble by accepting money in that name?
    That is, by law do I HAVE to do something to "have" that name? Or can I just use it?

    I already have the domain name, and the name itself is rather unique, but can I get in trouble unless I DO something with it?

    Is it common practice for people to just, invent a name for themselves, slap it on their truck and put a sign in their door, and not "register" in any way? Is that lawful?

    Thanks for the advice, keep it coming.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    First, you can do anything you like; there's just different kinds of 'risk' and chances
    you're going to have to take.

    1) money. The bank will require some assurance YOU are the payee on the checks you deposit.
    Use Paypal and no one knows or cares where it came from, but you pay them
    a stiff fee for that service.

    2) you registered your domain -- great. That's actually an ADDRESS on the Internet,
    not a business name, but it's a start.

    3) DBA, LLC, and several other forms of business organization are all LOCAL in
    one way or another. Even GOOGLE is a LOCAL business name in 'Silicon Valley' area
    of Northern California. They are a Corporation in the State of California. No one else can
    operate (in Calif.) with that name. With this formal registration, it becomes difficult
    for someone to use GOOGLE in any other state too.

    4) Back to your 'name on the truck'. It will work, but then you will have no
    protection of the name and anyone can take it, accuse you of incroaching on
    their business and you have no means to show it is actually the other-way-around.
    Just picking a name and using it makes you a TAKE OVER target.

    On your website, be sure to put a footnote on each page
    (c) Copyright 200x, your business name, All rights reserved​
    in a small font, centered. While to be legally correct, you need to file
    with the copyright office, but it's a flag that says 'oops, I better be careful'

    Another 'stunt' is to use the superscript tm after the name.

    If you 'just go about your business quietly', no one will care and there's no
    business taxes blah blah blah to fuss with -- also no protections either.
    If you file the DBA, then save the published notice in the local paper as
    proof of the date you started operations.
  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Well it will be 100% Paypal. And the payments are far and few between. And as far as I know, for my account type, it's free transfers. Up to $500 a month transfer to my bank for free.

    I'm well aware of what domains are, I run 4 or 5 myself. I've had the domain for nearly a year. It will be the ONLY display of my name at all. In other words, I won't be slapping in on my car and all that.

    I always wonder about that. I guess it isn't illegal to do that if you really are not copywrited or have a trademark?

    What I'm thinking, then, is just use my business name on the web site as long as I can, then some day register the DBA.
    When you do a DBA, does that trigger any organizations to "monitor" you or whatever? Do they really care?
    Kinda like they say, "ah, here's a new business, let's make sure they do everything the way we want them to".

    Well anyhow I'm less worried about it now. Just wanted to be sure I can make up a name and start using it without getting in trouble about something. If my only worry is that someone else may try to the use the name, then I'll have to take that chance for now.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    no such luck. The only 'monitor' will be a law suite filed my some lawyer telling
    YOU to cease and desist.
  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Well screw it then. I'll just run under my name until it either grows into something worth working on, or dies out.
    I'll get the DBA when such is important to do so.

    Thanks for your time jo, if your name is jo, and you have a beard.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    j. o. beard to be precise :) Some have called me the Weird Beard; the wife
    threatened to call our first sone Black :haha:

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