Are there any special licenses for doing business online in other countries?
I am looking into starting a company that provides services online to our customers. Our customers are billed monthly for the services. I haven't registered the company legally or anything for fear of doing it wrong. Is an L.L.C. the best way to operate? Do you have to have an EIN? Federal Tax Number?
In general, you do not need a specific license to conduct business online. However, serving overseas customers can involve tricky questions of domestic and international tax law. Sit yourself down with an attorney and an accountant who are familiar with the ramifications of doing business with foreign customers. Do not skimp on their services, and be prepared to open your checkbook. There's no hard and fast answer to the question of "which business form" -- it's a decision that needs to be made after discussing how you intend to run your business, who will own it, and your projected income. Once the business is formed, you will likely want to obtain an EIN for the entity.
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.