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Toddrv924

Full time business selling products traveling from state to state tax questions

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Hi everyone!  First post here so please be gentle. lol

My wife and I have decided to sell our house and go full time nomad lifestyle for at least a year (maybe a lot more).

We have a successful online business selling products on several different venues, our web site, etsy, ebay, etc...  We have figured out a plan to operate easily on the road as our inventory doesn't take up much room but I don't quite understand how mobile businesses handle sales tax.

We will have a permanent address with family in our home state where our business is registered and currently remit sales tax to our state for any sales that originate from our state as a normal online business would do.  The question arises when we travel from our home state to another state.  We plan on heading south for the winter so would any state we camp in and ship items from constitute a nexus in that state?  How do people handle this?  Surely there are others out there traveling around the country shipping product for their online business.

I've tried searching for the answer but most sites talk about a business selling at a craft show or something similar.  We won't be doing any of that, it would be 100% online based.

I would love to hear how others are handling this.  Thanks so much for any advice.

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In addition to the sales tax issue, since you are driving the RV for a for profit business, you will need to look into a commercial drivers license.

On the tax issue, you need to consult a tax accountant to look at your specific situation.

Ken

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10 minutes ago, TXiceman said:

On the tax issue, you need to consult a tax accountant to look at your specific situation.

Either that or a tax attorney. 

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Yup, I thought about a tax attorney, that's probably what I'll look for since I like to do things by the book.  I was just hoping to find someone that might be doing something similar.

Commercial driver's license?  Wow, I've never come across anyone mentioning that. Seems like if you're indeed driving the RV as part of the business that would make sense but I would have never thought that for what I'm talking about doing.  I guess I'll need to do more reading. lol

So people that use an RV (or travel trailer) to travel to craft shows to sell their items are required to have a commercial license?   That's really shocking to me.

Edited by Toddrv924

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10 hours ago, Toddrv924 said:

So people that use an RV (or travel trailer) to travel to craft shows to sell their items are required to have a commercial license?   That's really shocking to me.

I haven't researched the subject but I see a lot of vendor RVs that do not have commercial license plates. The only sort of commercial driver's license that I'm aware of is the CDL which I doubt that you need. I drove a company owned service van for 32 years while living in 3 different states and that issue never came up. In WY we did need a commercial license on the truck but not in CO or TX. I would check with your motor vehicle department on the license plate and the DMV about the driver's license.

I wonder if Big5er is around as he probably knows the answer to this issue? 

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Don't forget commercial insurance as operation of a business may exclude coverage under a regular fulltimers rv policy .   

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14 hours ago, LFDR3116 said:

Don't forget commercial insurance as operation of a business may exclude coverage under a regular fulltimers rv policy .   

I should mention that I've had a business for several years so I'm aware of insurance needs and basic business details.  I'm really hoping to find someone that has a business that has some knowledge of dealing with sales tax while traveling and selling online.  It appears that not many people do this so I will consult with a tax pro.

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On 5/20/2018 at 6:39 AM, Kirk Wood said:

I wonder if Big5er is around as he probably knows the answer to this issue?

Kirk, that is really getting into some squirrely issues. What does the motorhome/truck and trailer weigh? What merchandise is being hauled? There are several variables so it is really hard to just pop up with an answer. If the OP wants to contact me I'll try to offer some advice. 

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 When I was traveling to nascar races for work. I contacted the state tax office. Normally it went well . If you are there for a short time such as a week or two they may have a separate tax system for temporary business.

 

 So yes it can be done. Fairly simple. Just do what they say.

 

 I now only work in Montana and Arizona. No tax in Montana, but you need to be registered to work in the state. It's online so anyone can see. Arizona there is state, county and possible city tax.

 

 Just call and ask .

 

 Safe Travels,.   Vern

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12 hours ago, Big5er said:

If the OP wants to contact me I'll try to offer some advice. 

Thanks. Limited though your advice might be, it is probably much more accurate than what most of us would give. 

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 I remember when I worked in Florida the business did need a Florida phone number. So we changed my wife number.

 Now that was a regular business for te winter. Short term may be different.

 

 Safe Travels,.   Vern

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I really think I may have not explained the business very well.  This is something we mainly do on ebay and etsy.  It consists of a laptop to take orders and maybe  10 to 20 pounds of small items in inventory.  It's not a big operation.

Our "rig" is going to be a van pulling a 15 foot camper.

Again, the sales tax from state to state is really my big concern.  Simply talking to the state before we go would probably be the best thing to do but making people understand the actual nature of the business is always difficult.

I've read several blogs with people talking about selling on Etsy while traveling so I know people are doing it.  I'm guessing most ignore the "proper" way of doing it but again, I'm a freak about doing everything by the book.

I think the closest similar operation I read about was a couple (and their kids) traveling around the country and selling vinyl graphics on ebay, etsy, and their web site.  Not the same thing I do but a very similar kind of business for sure.  I should try to find that blog again and see if they have any tips.

Edited by Toddrv924

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