Looking to start an online clothing boutique. I would post photos of clothing where members of a Facebook group would comment to purchase. I would invoice the customers via PayPal and ship their items. What legal precaution should I take? I know I have to register business and pay sales tax on my purchases sold what other things would I need to look for?
You should sit down with an insurance agent, accountant and attorney who are familiar with online businesses. You should incorporate the business with the IL Secretary of State, contact the IL Dept of Revenue and obtain a FEIN. Are the clothing items manufactured by you or are you re-selling them? Are there any trademarks on the clothing or do you need a license from the manufacturer of the clothing? These are all questions that professionals you meet with can answer.
You have many things to do. Pick a name for your boutique. Make sure the name is available for both boutique and trademark. File a business structure. Obtain the domain name. Obtain the trademark. Obtain a business license. Have an attorney draft terms of service for your site, do not use someone else's. Be sure that you purchase your goods through a licensed manufacturer so that there are no infringement claims.
You need to sit down with a good business law attorney, find a good accountant, and find a good web designer. You're going to want to schedule a full meeting and consultation with a good business law attorney and hire him or her for all of your business law needs.
This answer is not "legal advice" and should not serve as a substitute for the advice of an attorney who is licensed in your applicable jurisdiction. The statements provided herein are for informational purposes only and the recipient of these answers assumes all risk and expressly agrees to seek the advice of the appropriate counsel for his or her situation. Should any formal legal advice be sought, the recipient should contact our law firm at the appropriate phone number or email address.
You ask what steps you should take and what to look for in connection with your proposed online business. Of course this is a vast topic, so as you've already been advised in this forum it is absolutely vital to sit down with a competent Attorney before you get started. That said, here are a few points to keep in mind:
To Establish Your Business:
Register with the Illinois Sec. of State
Obtain an Employer ID Number (EIN) at irs.gov
Make an "S" election (if applicable) at irs.gov
Open a bank account using EIN and Cert. of Incorporation
Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue
Register with the Dept. of Employment Security
Obtain proper licenses and permits - check online
Online Application to Incorporate
Approved Articles of Incorporation
Initial Resolutions of Directors
Minutes of Organizational Meeting
Resolution to Establish Bank Acct.
Corporate docs (contracts, etc.)
EULA and Website documentation
Business cards, letterhead, etc.
Find an Accountant
Find an Attorney
Find an Insurance Agent
Business bank account
Business credit card
Establish business credit
Obtain business insurance
Workman's Comp. insurance
If Home-based: zoning
If not then lease space
Secure a domain name and create a website
Create a business/marketing plan
I hope this information has been helpful. Best of luck in your new business!
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