I learned some great things this week as I researched legal permits, taxes, and requirements to operate business online and in person. Often people feel scared of taking risk in business because they think it’s unfathomable for the average bloke to understand the complex requirements of government. However, I’m finding it’s pretty straightforward and easy to understand, especially if you go straight to the source (government website) or talk with someone who already knows what you need to know (another private business owner).

Permits are required for businesses in Idaho, but not for online businesses that don’t have employees, a physical location, or a storage of inventory they are selling. Organizing an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) gives you legal protection for your personal assets not being liable for business obligations. Sales tax must be collected according to individual state law (some platforms, like WooCommerce, collect it automatically based on the buyer’s location). It is paid by retailers on a quarterly basis through the online Taxpayer Access Point (TAP). The net profit of your business is taxable on your annual taxes on a Schedule C form.

This week we also were due to finish the dirty work of putting together a running, functional website, and I have to say I really enjoyed getting in the dirt of a new project and seeing it take shape. When you have the power to be a problem solver and create something fresh and clean it’s exciting!

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