I have decided to expand and make a website! I have many questions

by fancyelephants. Posted on Sep 12, 2020    5    9

Hi! I turned 19 in March and decided to start a buisness and use the money to pay for college because my part time job was not cutting it and this pandemic is making it nearly impossible to get hired anywhere. I've finally decided that I want to expand and sell on my own website. As of right now I have been selling through instagram and doing hand deliveries or shipping. Its going pretty good and now I want to move on to my website. Questions:

  1. Do I absolutely need an LLC and a sellers permit ? I'm the only person involved and I cant afford to hire anyone. (Im selling hand made jewlery and resin art im in California)
  2. Can I somehow add tax to every purchase so I don't have to deal with it at the end of the year or how do buisness taxes work? I'm so scared to mess up my taxes and get into trouble.
  3. Do you reccomend i host my own website or use something like wix or shopify?

Thank you for taking time to help me out im still researching more and more however those are just some things I want to be super clear about so I don't make a big mistake.


tomhalejr 1

California does have fairly aggressive state specific laws regarding ecommerce... So yes - Any state specific laws in California in particular could be a real PITA.

LLC/structures aside - Again, it's California... And, it is the fifth largest economy in the world setting a precedent in regards to state sales taxes through online sales... I would assume this issue will make it's way to the supreme court sooner rather than later. Unless/until, there is no national/federal standard...

You are not hosting your own domain... That's a totally and completely different critter. Seems like you might want to eventually, one day sell some kind of product? Unless/until you figure out exactly what kind of concept you are trying to prove, all these questions are moot.

  fancyelephants 1

My brother works with computers and builds sites and computers from scratch all the time so he offered to help me make my own website which is why I asked because he said I could host my own with out using something like shopify or wix, and like I stated in my post i'm already selling items and doing pretty good which is why I decided I want to start a website to reach more people juat figured I'd ask a few questions and get some guidance.

The_logo_maker 1

Its best for the owner to pay for hosting so their no dispute when the web dev finishes the job. Squarespace and shopify are do it your self kind of things while custom wordpress or coded website will run you a little higher but will be fully customizable to your view.

mike_concho 1

Based on this - I'd maybe recommend square. They will take a small percentage, but they will do tax mark-ups and will allow you to make a website for free.

This is a business that I know that has a free square page and is close to what you are selling. https://www.newageavenue.com/

I think it would be an easy way to solve a lot of your problems.

  fancyelephants 1

I had never heard of Square, thank you!

  1. LLC to protect your assets, but if you are just starting out I think you can leave this for now. Unless you already making huge profits. I am non-US so take this advice with a grain of salt.
  2. Have no idea how taxes works in US
  3. If its just an online shop shopify is an easy peasy. I personall will stand away from Wix, their page builder is too clunky and traditional.
  fancyelephants 1

Thank you for taking the time to reply :))

part-three 2
  1. If Taxation is Theft, then California is Public Enemy #1. No matter what state you're in, though, you do need a seller's permit. Should be easy enough to find the info you need to get that.
  2. yes. I suggest you use a shopping cart. Wordpress has a lot of them available, both free and paid. Check out some of the popular ones to see how they work. And also how they may or may not suit your business.
  3. I would say host your own website. Wix, etc. is way overpriced. Plus, hosting your own website is truly the only way you have full control.

    Just my opinion, of course. And hey, good luck!
  fancyelephants 2

Thank you! :)