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Question added to topic FranchisesDecember 22, 2008

Do I need a separate business license in every state that my web consulting business operates?

I am starting a web consulting business. Can I just get one state's license, or do I even need a license at all?
When you start a business you have a choice: You can form a limited liability entity (such as an LLC or corporation), or you can file a fictitious name statement (also known as a DBA), which simply lets people know that you are running a business under a name other than your own.

Note, though, that the DBA is not an entity--your personal assets are totally exposed and available to creditors if they get a judgment against you. You generally don't need to file in more than one state unless you plan to have an office presence in multiple states. However, working with clients from multiple states could have tax implications, so be sure to speak to your accountant to make sure you're handling your transactions and collecting sales tax appropriately.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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