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14,331 Views 12 Replies Last post: Mar 11, 2012 9:29 AM by Lighthouse24 RSS
Level 0 6 posts since
Jan 15, 2012
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Feb 23, 2012 6:21 AM

Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

Hi everyone! I am new at this, and have just completed my first novel (364) pages. I hope someone can help me. I have the free Createspace ISBN, and understand that makes them the Publisher on Record, so do I still need to get a business license, and if so, sole proprietorship or LLC to protect my home? I'm only selling a book, not opening an entire book store. I reside in Georgia.

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1. Feb 23, 2012 6:46 AM in response to: pretty35
Re: Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

Obviously, you have to follow the local, state, and federal laws.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each way of doing business that only only an attorney/accountant can answer for you.

 

The question I would ask is, who is likely to sue you? You might find that publisher's insurance solves some problems if you think you're at risk . . . so might an hour with a good lawyer.

 

Since the truth is the absolute defense against defamation (what else is there in a book that would put you at risk?), don't defame and don't be reckless.

 

Walton

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2. Feb 23, 2012 7:27 AM in response to: pretty35
Re: Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

As Walton said, you'll have to research your state's laws. But if you plan to sell copies of your book yourself (at author signings, talks, book fairs, etc.) you'll probably need some type of vendor license. I don't live in Georgia, so I don't know anything about the laws there. In Ohio, I would need a vendor license to sell copies myself, but could operate as a sole proprietorship to do so, which doesn't require any type of paperwork.

 

Sarah

Editor & Book Designer

http://sleepingcatbooks.com

 

Pre-order your copy of "The Storm is Coming" anthology and get acknowledged in the book!

http://www.kapipal.com/sleepingcatbooks

Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTl6qAE8ngc

Level 5 19,578 posts since
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5. Feb 23, 2012 7:45 AM in response to: pretty35
Re: Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

I think that as a rule of thumb and bottom line . . . what every city, county, state, and the nation wants, is your tax dollar.

 

Regarding mothers and expressions, I believe, thinking of mine, mother is the need for invention.

 

W

Level 5 13,129 posts since
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6. Feb 23, 2012 7:57 AM in response to: pretty35
Re: Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

If you have a "day job," I would not form an LLC -- a sole proprietorship is simpler, easier to create, and doesn't put your benefits from regular employment at risk.  Neither form can effectively protect your home (in practical terms, the "limited liability" in LLC is not a good asset protection measure for a single person business).  If something about your book or the business of selling it could put your home at risk, then you may need a good insurance policy for errors and omissions or media perils.

 

If you operate a sole proprietorship under a name other than your own (like the name of your publishing imprint), then you need to register it with your county court/clerk.

 

You might also have to register with your state's department of revenue, and collect and remit state sales tax on the books you sell and deliver within you state.  However, many states allow individuals to make a certain dollar level of sales per year, or sell on a limited number of days per year, without doing this.

 

This link might get you started or answer any additional questions:

http://sos.georgia.gov/firststop/first_stop_business_guide.htm

 

Hope that helps.  Best wishes.

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8. Feb 23, 2012 4:16 PM in response to: pretty35
Re: Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

I sent you a private message (under Your Stuff in the menu above) with some additional info.

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9. Mar 10, 2012 8:53 PM in response to: Lighthouse24
Re: Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

I have a question related to this. If I am at a book signing, and I want to sell copies of the book so I can sign them right there or merchandise related to my book, do I need a Tax ID Number since I will have to charge sales tax? Do I need a business entity to sell books, or can I just use my SS# (since I don't think I'll be selling a huge amount of books at a signing)?

 

Any help with this would be appreciated. Thank you

 

David

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Feb 18, 2010
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10. Mar 10, 2012 9:00 PM in response to: Tchrofengl
Re: Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

Hi Tchrofengl,

I would check with your local and state laws as was mentioned earlier in this post. I don't know what state you are in, but in Iowa I was able to get a tax id number for free and also a tax license too for free. I emailed the state to ask about the license and they said if I am sellig something I have to. You can either get an employer tax id or just use your ssn as far as I know, but ask around, go to the local court house and ask there to be sure of county laws. and contact your state IRS and they can help with other information too. I hope this helps. Take care and welcome to CreateSpace!

 

Wendy

 

http://siefkenpublications.wordpress.com/

 

http://siefkenpublications.blogspot.com/

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Kais-Journey-World-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B0067RJZS8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329688112&sr=8-1

 

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kais-journey-charles-siefken/1107727489?ean=2940013524996&itm=2&usri=kai%27s+journey

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12. Mar 11, 2012 9:29 AM in response to: Tchrofengl
Re: Should author's apply for business license? What type is best? Sole Prop. or LLC?

Tchrofengl wrote:

I have a question related to this. If I am at a book signing, and I want to sell copies of the book so I can sign them right there or merchandise related to my book, do I need a Tax ID Number since I will have to charge sales tax? Do I need a business entity to sell books, or can I just use my SS# (since I don't think I'll be selling a huge amount of books at a signing)?

As noted above, it depends on the state in which you reside.  Most states issue a unique Sales Tax ID number (different than your business EIN or personal SSN), and some allow individuals to have a limited number or dollar volume of sales per year without having to collect sales tax.

 

You don't need to form any sort of business entity to sell your book (you can do that as an individual), but if publising and/or selling your book becomes a viable business enterprise, then there are advantages to operating as a business.

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