Legally, what do I need to consider for a seasonal business?
What is required if I want to rent out my houseboat for a few weeks out of the year? I'm wondering if I have to turn in taxes on money I will make from renting out my houseboat. Also, what kind of insurance will I have to get, and do I have to have a business license for such a small operation?The IRS takes the position that all income must be declared on all business activities, no matter how minimal.
As with insurance, the issue is not the size of the operation, but the nature of what you're doing. There are any number of ways that people can injure themselves on your houseboat--even if it's not your fault--so you would be wise to speak to an insurance broker.
Your general liability insurance may cover invitees, but not renters. As to whether a business license is required, speak to a local attorney. Localities differ as to whether a license or other registration is required for house rental.
Also check any rules and regulations of your local houseboat owners association (if you have one), as they may have restrictions (or need permissions) before you let renters into the area.
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.