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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Hi all!

    We are trying to find out how to get an occupational license for tax reasons... and because we want to be able to buy wholesale.

    When we called the occupational license office here, we were asked what kind of business we have.

    We said that we did affiliate marketing online. They didn't know what that was so we explained. After the explanation they said, "Oh, okay... then you're an advertising agency."

    They said we need to register a fictitious name, get a zoning permit, and apply for a Federal tax number. We then bring those things in to register for an occupational license.

    Has anyone else here obtained an occupation license? Are you registered as an "advertising agency"? We feel unsure about getting a name and zoning permit under that category. We plan to mail out posters in the future as well. Should we say marketing.. advertising... mail order? Does the classification really matter?

    We're just going to use some general name. Do we need to check somewhere to see if it's taken yet?

    Any advice you all can give about getting an occupational/business license is appreciated!

    Happy New Year!

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Except for buying wholesale, I would say [img]tongue.gif[/img] to getting a license.

    Requirements must vary by state, because to buy wholesale here in Mich almost all you need to do is get a "sales tax license" which entails filling out a form and picking a classification for your business (no Federal number). It was $1 the last time we checked...

    You can also get an assumed name. If the one you're thinking of is taken, the county will tell you so in Mich. But them telling you only works if the other business is registered in the county--for trademarked names, you would have to check with the USPTO I think (Haiko can tell you for sure about finding out if something's trademarked).

    I don't think an assumed name (or a DBA--Doing Business As) is required to get a sales tax license in Mich but that may vary by state. I'm not totally certain on that, though--it's been too long since I had an active sales tax license.

    As for the business category, I already consider myself an Ad Agency. I decide how to advertise, where to place the ads (advertising a revenue page on my site is like advertising the merchant, because I wouldn't bother listing a page that had no merchant!), what ad spin to use, what banners, etc. It's the same thing that they do on Madison Avenue--the only difference is the media the ads are in!

    But if you want to get into doing non-ad stuff (like selling stuff as a merchant), I'd think it may be better not to mention the advertising part to the clerk...

    I do have to wonder What the ..... they are demanding a zoning permit for. You wouldn't apply for a zoning permit until you had a location you wanted to use for the biz, at least not here! I can just see the zoning board saying, "get can't get a permit without a business license!"

    And you'd only need a permit from the zoning board if you were going to build or what you want to do is at variance with the current zoning (whether renting, building, or buying), I would think...

    (Disclaimer: This response is based on my experiences here in Michigan. Florida may do things totally cockamamie!)

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Winterpeg, the Mosquito Capital of Canada
    Here in my neck of the woods in Canada, involves a home occupancy licence, in lieu of business taxes
    Company name here, you can register a name, involves 30 some odd $ and forms to register.
    Our tax #s, are just forms we need to fill in. One provincial office, 1 federal office.
    Best bet is call or find your local, state and federal offices, ask for all brochures or info packages required for a home business.
    As you can see by responses requirements will vary by place. Since it is the government making up whatever regulations they need to regulate home business(or even brick and mortar)they are the ones you should talk to.
    As for ignoring any regs as suggested, trying to avoid paying a licence fee, chances are they wil find out, possibly with back payments due. We just had last year a city tax person take a show book which has listing of numerous sales reps and the lines they carry which is actually a pocket book that is given to our customers only for their trade show use. They went through and tracked who was licenced and who wasn't and sent out tax bills for all who were not paying the home occupancy fees. I will not tell you if I was nailed or not LOL.

    [ 01-02-2002: Message edited by: walleye warrior ]

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