If you’ve already formed your business entity, the next step in turning your blog into a small business is to obtain a business license. Different cities and states require different licenses, so the licenses you need to obtain depend on your area.
- Business License: The SBA has a guide on which federal and state licenses you need to obtain for your small business. Most bloggers do not need to obtain a federal license to do business, but most states do require bloggers to have a general business license.
- Sales Tax Permit: If you are selling goods or services on your blog, you may need to get a sales tax license or permit. Contact your state’s department of revenue or taxation to find out if you need to apply for a sales tax permit or resale number. You’ll typically need one if you sell, rent or lease goods or provide a taxable service on your blog.
- Home Occupation Permit: If you’re running your blog exclusively from your home, you’ll likely also need a Home Occupation Permit. Read more about home-based businesses on the SBA website for more guidance on what you need to legally operate out of your home. All of the above licenses and permits can be obtained from your local government website.
- Employer Identification or Tax ID Number. You will be required to obtain an EIN for your blog. For more information on how to do this, visit this post. Your EIN is a one-time request and is good for the life of your business.
You’ll want to make sure you keep up on the renewal dates of your business licenses and permits. Most require renewal every year, and you should be reminded by mail of your renewal date. Keep track of licensing and renewal fees as those are tax deductible.
After you form your business entity and obtain proper licenses, you’re ready to start blogging as an actual business! However, your small business obligations do not end here. There are several maintenance responsibilities that must be kept up on such as estimated quarterly taxes, accounting and small business bookkeeping, and filing taxes as a business.
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Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.