Do I Need A Business License?

by Sandy
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Benefits of having a business license? How to get one? How to know you need one? How many you need?

I want to give private singing lessons, sell handmade jewelry, and sell stuff on eBay.

Do I need separate business licenses for all of these, or can I get one to do all? Do I need a business license for these? What are the benefits of having a business license? For instance, I heard that I can buy jewelry supplies wholesale if I have a business license, etc.


You can do all that under one business name, it is just different marketing streams on how your business is making revenue.

If you want to keep singing lesson separate from selling then you will need to register them each under separate business names.

There are two main benefits of registering your business the first one is to be able to declare deductions and the second gives you the ability to buy supplies from wholesale suppliers

You need to prove to the government and wholesale suppliers that you are an official business providing singing lessons and/or producing handcrafted items for sale and not just as a hobby

Once you are "in business", and not just giving singing lessons and producing crafts as a hobby you'll find you are entitled to a great many tax deductions. (such craft show entry fees, automobile expenses, your workshop or studio in your home, advertising and marketing expenses, and all the other expenses you have incurred against your business income. Generally what ever costs you money to make money should be deductible.) Make sure you keep ALL receipts.

Wholesalers typically sell for about half the price of retailers (and have better selections.) Purchasing your jewelry making supplies wholesale will allow you to price your work more competitively.

Laws regarding business registration requirements vary from place to place. Contact your local business development office, chamber of commerce or town or city clerk’s office to determine the registration requirements in your own location.

Many states also require that you apply for a retail sales tax number. Your responsibilities to sell jewelry and other items retail is to charge the correct retail sales tax on the total value of all taxable goods and services.

Your local retail sales tax district office will provide you with more information and also issue you a vendor's permit or retail sales tax number which is a certificate of authority to collect the tax, send you reporting forms and all the necessary instructions, and advise you of dates (usually monthly) for remitting tax collected.

Also make sure you contact your insurance broker and inform them of your home business. Especially if you have people come to your home or if you go to theirs for private singing lessons... If anything happens your home policy may not cover accidents that occurred because you are running a business from home. Be protected and let them know.

I hope this helps.
Gloria :)

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