Internet business requirements are very similar to regular business requirements with the primary differences being related to physical location. Instead of having a retail store or office location, you must select an online hosting environment and register your domain name. Federal and local business start-up requirements are the same, but there are a few specific, Internet-related regulations you must be aware of.
Business License or Permit
Depending upon the state and county you live in, you may need to file for a business license or permit. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), even when your business is based from your home and conducted solely through the Internet, many local zoning laws require you to have a home occupation permit.
Familiarize yourself with your local and state sales tax laws. Some states require online businesses to charge sales or excise taxes, and the SBA notes that you may need to apply for a tax permit or register with your state’s revenue agency.
Read and understand the online business regulations regarding privacy, advertising, and children. The Federal Trade Commission regulates truth-in-advertising laws online, as well as acceptable practices for sending commercial emails. Online businesses are required to protect the information of their customers, and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) restricts information that can be collected from children online.