Business requires licenses, and you probably came here to find out if you need one yourself. My answer is yes you do! (Government wants your money either in taxes by tracking you with your registration, or they’ll charge you a lot more in legal fees if you get caught). You are going to need licenses, permits and registration to avoid legal issues, because that’s how the system works now. People say stuff like if you own an ebay or etsy account and don’t make enough money, don’t worry about it (go ahead and don’t worry about it, until you get caught that is).
General business license, tax permit, occupation/professional license, unemployment and worker’s compensation registration, weights and measures registration, alarm permit, health permit, home occupation permit, signage, and much more are required for variety of businesses (There is a website you can use to find out what registrations are needed at what city. Or you can call a consultant for free and find out that way). Whether you start business online or open a physical store, you have to educate yourself on laws and regulations to be financially smart.
The first place you should go to learn about licenses, permits and registration is sba.com. The website has business resources by states and you should be responsible for knowing the state law that you run your business in, whether it’s online or not. The website pretty much breaks it down by explaining tax regulation guidelines, business license registration, incorporation filing, filing a fictitious name (DBA), employer regulations (you probably won’t need this until your company grows enough for you to start hiring employees besides yourself).
After educating yourself, I suggest you to continue educating yourself with laws and regulation necessary to run your business. The reason why you should read and educate yourself on law is because it’ll help you find loopholes to avoid paying the government too much money you shouldn’t be paying (all the other rich people are doing it, so why shouldn’t you? It’s just as simple as educating yourself). Having a corporation compared to general partnership, limited partnership, s corporation, LLC, LLP, non profit, or sole proprietorship is a big difference in tax payments. I believe that people who complains that the tax system is messed up are just ignorant, since they don’t want to educate themselves and avoid it as well. Hell, if everyone does it, then the government might come up with a proper regulation. The law is made so smart people can avoid paying the government as much as possible while middle class does all the paying because either they don’t care or want to stay ignorant. It has ruined our economy by widening our gap between the riches and the poor too much.