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    7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 4, 2011 4:39 PM by tditconsulting

    Do I need to register in another state if I am going to be doing business there?


      Hi guys, new to this forum but not forums in general. Here's a little background to my question. I started my own business in October of 2010. We have already grown quite rapidly. I have registered the business in West Virginia but due to our location we are very close to three other states. We have already had customers in other states than West Virginia. What do I need to do to be legally ready to do business in those other states? Thanks guys.



        • Re: Do I need to register in another state if I am going to be doing business there?
          LUCKIEST Guide

          Welcome Keenan, When you ask "what do I need to do to be LEGALLY ready" you need to talk to a lawyer.


          Your accountant should be able to help with the rest.


          • Re: Do I need to register in another state if I am going to be doing business there?
            Barky Dog Tracker

            Hey Keenan,


            Welcome to the community.  Also congrats on starting a successful small business!  That's no small feat in this economy. 


            A little more info on your situation would be helpful.  Are you selling products to those other states?  Or, are you providing services in those other states?  Both?



              • Do I need to register in another state if I am going to be doing business there?

                Thanks for the welcome. Ninety percent of the cost to the customer will be for labor. The other ten percent will be for one of the following: 1. re-imbursement for a product we purchased on behalf of the client in relation to a specific quote/work order agreed to by both parties (us and client) 2. leasing of equipment we own to client for extended periods of time (6 months or more) 3. outright sale of equipment we own to become the property of the client


                Here is some additional info to maybe help give everyone a more broad scope of what we do as a whole:


                October 1st 2010, I decided to start my own IT business. I contract out all the work to a friend of mine. We offer both home computer repair and business IT solutions. The four corners of our service area are each in a different state. Our business model focusses on the customer and so therefore we prefer to do on-site repair/maintenance/installation/etc. We are expanding rapidly to reach more areas of the market. Our first customer came late in October and through referrals and a lot of dedication by both myself and my technician we started having a snowball effect. We werent even advertising to business's yet and we got contacted and hired for a job by a business before we even officially opened our doors to that area of the market in late December. Just yesterday we were hired for another business not even through a referral for a 16 hour installation job.


                My advisement told me that early on I was to not worry so much about getting tax documents and licenses and paperwork in place until we started getting enough business to make it necessary. With how fast we have grown with minimal (in my eyes) advertising I want to get everything in place now before I get overwhelmed.


                The majority of the work through 2011 should fall into one of these catagories: 1. home computer/network repair or installation 2. business computer/network repair or installtion 3. continued business IT support based on X amount of hours per week/month 4. buildout and installation of equipment to be leased to the client combined with X amount of continued IT support


                I hope this give you guys a little more broad view of where we are headed.

                  • Re: Do I need to register in another state if I am going to be doing business there?
                    Barky Dog Tracker

                    Thanks for the additional info, Keenan.


                    Some states tax "services" differently than "products".  It sounds like you'll be providing both to your out of neighboring-state clients.  So, those are tax requirements that you'll need to get clear answers on for each state. 


                    Also, some states may try to tax you as though your business is located within that state.  That is- your physical, primary business location.  This is clearly not the case with your business, so you may be able to apply for an exemption status with that state.


                    This is tricky stuff, so, like others have said, I would try to get some professional guidance as soon as you can afford it. If you can't afford a full-time, knowledgeable accountant right now, you can probably just buy an hour or two of "consultation" time, just to answer all of your questions and get you on the right track.


                    Below are some no-cost resources that can help you as well.  Good luck!  - Barky




                    State and federal business development offices and some non-profit business support organizations provide seminars and other programs that may help you get started.  Look for training opportunities on these sites.

                    • The West Virginia Small Business Development Center offers a variety of training opportunities. Check out the Training Calendar for current and future sessions that can help your business.
                    • The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a Training Network of online courses tailored for new businesses.  Direct counseling and assistance is also available for entrepreneurs.
                    • The West Virginia Small Business Development Center provides free consulting services to assist new business owners.
                    • SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and  the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE volunteers provide free, confidential face-to-face and e-mail business counseling to America’s entrepreneurs.  Counseling and workshops are offered at 389 chapter offices across the country.


                    In West Virginia, SCORE volunteers can be contacted at these numbers.

                    Buckhannon(304) 472-2516

                    Charleston(304) 347-5463

                    Fairmont(304) 472-2516

                    Huntington(304) 523-4092

                    Lewisburg(304) 647-6582

                    Wheeling(304) 233-2575
                • Do I need to register in another state if I am going to be doing business there?
                  KathleenF Scout

                  I would recommend the same as Luckiest but I would also contact the Department of Revenue or Department of Commerce for each of those states.  You should also contact your accountant to be sure you understand how to collect sales tax from customers located in each of those states.