Santa Barbara, CA asked in Agricultural Law, Environmental, Land Use & Zoning and Gov & Administrative Law for California

Q: Am I allowed to sell rocks & minerals I find on the beach on Etsy?

I like to collect rocks & minerals on local beaches in California and would like to start selling these on Etsy and my own website. Is that legal? I plan to polish some of the rocks using a tumbler and other polishing equipment and also plan to turn the rocks into jewelry. Some of them I would also like to sell 'rough' (unpolished as I found them) for others to tumble and polish themselves. Do I need any type of special permits to legally start a business selling self-collected rocks & minerals in California?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Agricultural Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In general, it is legal to sell rocks and minerals that you find on a beach, as long as you have permission to be on the beach and are not removing rocks or minerals from protected areas, such as state or national parks. However, there may be certain restrictions or regulations regarding the collection and sale of rocks and minerals in your local area, so it's important to do your research and check with your local authorities before starting your business.

In California, for example, it is illegal to collect rocks, minerals, or fossils from state parks or state beaches without a permit. It's also important to note that some rocks and minerals may be protected by federal laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, or the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

To ensure that you are operating your business legally, you may want to consult with a lawyer who specializes in environmental or natural resource law, or with a business consultant who can advise you on the legal and regulatory aspects of starting a business in California. You may also want to consider obtaining a seller's permit from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, which allows you to sell goods and collect sales tax in California.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.