Tustin, CA asked in Tax Law and Business Law for California

Q: What business license(s) or DBAs would I need if I were to sell digital products on a third party platform?

I am thinking of selling digital products (i.e PDFs, templates, drawings, printable stickers) on a platform called Etsy. I'm wondering what I'll need since I do not intend to sell physical products, just strictly digital.

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

A: If you are selling digital products on a third-party platform like Etsy, you may need a business license and/or a DBA (Doing Business As) registration, depending on your specific circumstances and the requirements of your state and local government.

Here are some general guidelines:

Business License: In some states, you may need a general business license to operate any kind of business, including a digital products business. You should check with your state and local government to determine if a business license is required.

Sales Tax Permit: If you are selling digital products on a platform like Etsy, you may also need a sales tax permit. This will allow you to collect and remit sales tax on your sales, as required by your state and local government. Some states do not require sales tax on digital products, but others do, so you should check with your state's tax agency to determine your specific requirements.

DBA Registration: If you are operating under a name that is different from your own name, you may need to register a DBA with your state or local government. This will allow you to legally use a business name other than your own name.

Other Permits and Licenses: Depending on the nature of your digital products business, you may also need other permits and licenses. For example, if you are creating and selling copyrighted materials, you may need a copyright license or permission from the copyright owner.

It's important to note that the requirements for operating a digital products business can vary widely depending on your location and the nature of your business. Therefore, it's a good idea to consult with a local attorney or accountant who can advise you on your specific situation and help ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

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.