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What regulations do I need to follow in order to sell goods in the US that I purchased internationally ?

Santa Barbara, CA |

I am planning to do travel abroad, and in hopes of helping fund my trip I have considered purchasing such things as local craft items or antiques and selling them on the internet. What are the legal qualifications of this?

Attorney Answers 4


You shouldn't have any copyright, trademark or patent issues for authentic local crafts/antiques, but you would have customs disclosures and tax issues on the income.

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Nothing too complicated here.I presume that you are planning on buying the goods, bringing them back to the US, and selling them online from the US. Is that correct?

In this situation, you will need to comply with customs when you bring the goods back. Depending on the amount of goods you are bringing, you will likely need to declare and pay duties on the taxes you import. This can get expensive and will likely increase your sale price.

Once in the US, you will likely need to charge sales tax or VAT on the goods that you sell to local consumers.

The details of this kind of issue will depend on the amount and type of goods you want to sell.

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There are no specific legal requirements to sell crafts purchased overseas in the US via internet sales.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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Sometimes certain legal or tax requirements really depend on the kind of goods or merchandise you buy and import for resale. There maybe customs (on certain items there is none) or other taxes associated. Then you need to collect sales tax if you sell in certain states. If this activity becomes more than a simple hobby, you need also to comply with business income and tax. In that case certain business expenses may be deductible. Please consult with a business and tax attorney. Best,

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