Operating an online business has extra financial and legal strings attached to it that brick-and-mortar stores don’t have. Beyond licensing compliance, there are tax, copyright, privacy and security issues involved.
The chief agency charged with responsibility for regulating eCommerce activities is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). State law will also come into play. Whether you’re required to file a qualification to do business as a foreign entity in all states where you’re selling depends on a host of factors that require assistance from an attorney who specializes in internet business law.
Generally, eCommerce sites must comply with the same local, state and federal tax laws as physical stores. However, even if you’re responsible for collecting state and local taxes from online shoppers – and forwarding these taxes to the appropriate revenue agencies – it’s possible that you won’t need to register as a foreign corporation. Whether or not you do can be answered only with guidance from an attorney who works in this area of law.