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Requirements for selling T-Shirts in California?

8588 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  gapipkin
So I was reading around, and I need a resellers permit to sell t-shirts here in California. Anyone know of any other requirements I need to meet before I start selling T-shirts? Is it the only thing I need or are there other required permits?

Also any legal advice is very much appreciated.

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sellers permit (state), business license (city or county if you are not in city limits), garment decorators permit (state), fire inspection (city or county if you are not in city limits), hazardous waste permit (county probably but city may require it), business registration (dba with county, LLC/LLP, Corp with State).

You will also need permits if you do any building mods for electric or other buildouts.

You also need to register with the county for property tax. Yes, the county will charge you between 1% and 1.25% property tax on all business assets every year.

Legal advice can only be given by an attorney.

Good Luck.
If you are operating from your home/apartment, you may need a variance permit if the home or apt is not zoned commercial...or mixed use....
If you are operating from your home/apartment, you may need a variance permit if the home or apt is not zoned commercial...or mixed use....
Good luck with that. Any city in a major metro area will not allow this. Our city allows 1 room to be used for a home business and a garage is not allowed.
What if i'm operating at home and I have an extra room. and all those permits are required even if a majority of my sales are going to be either online or delivered by hand?
If you are doing the printing in your house then yes, they all may be required. You can always go commando and just not do them.

If you are just reselling then most of them you will not need.

Are you printing in your house? Are you on city sewer? (dumping chemicals down the toilet is frowned upon in the PRC).

What city are you in? , that might help us help you.

Basically your house will not be constructed properly for manufacturing. This can create a hazardous situation for you and your neighbors. That is why all the permits and variances are required.
I wish someone would create a website with step-by-step instructions on exactly what you need to do in each state (and eventually per county/city) and what order to do it in to became a normal, licensed business. Most websites that offer this kind of information merely have a link to the local governmental websites for whatever you are trying to register (sales tax, business name, etc). The local websites here in FL leave most details out and say you should come into the office to discuss what you're doing. I think that if you're doing something simple, like "I'm going to sell heat press t-shirts" or "glowstick vendor at the 4th of July show" that all the information you should need should be on the website. I've been to two "small business startup" seminars to learn this kind of thing about a decade ago, and walked out on both of them when they started talking about stuff like "do I need to move to a bigger building" and "how to handle payroll for over 20 employees". Yes, that's still a small business but if you've got 20 employees and enough work to need a bigger place, that's not a startup!!

I gave up on it back then and did small amounts of internet eBay sales instead, all out of state. For the work I do now I've claimed as a sole proprietorship, and since I do on-site non-tangible work, I don't need a building/zoning or sales tax license. Now that I'm debating starting a new business again, I'm getting annoyed by the lack of clarity on how to go about everything legally. I'm still very confused on the zoning ordinances since I'm planning on doing internet sales and vending at conventions, no local shop or sales (other than word-of-mouth/delivery). It says you don't need it if you're not actually having customers at your house but you do need it if you have tangible property... so is that a yes or no? Whenever I'm less annoyed I'll go in there one day and try to figure out just what to do, but I wish I could do it all online or by fax. My boss' nephew is in the process of launching his own business and she's been trying to help him but they've both basically given up and her suggestion was to find someone who specializes in doing it. Ugh. I rather suspect California law would be even more confusing than Florida law, especially since your t-shirts may cause cancer in lab rats if they eat 5000 shirts a day.
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Most people that I run into that run a biz out of their house start without any permits or licensing. Basically as a hobby.

Once you get that first permit or licence you will find out other government agencies will find you and extract their pound of flesh. Some may even want to go back 3 years on fees (statutory limit in California) so doing it all at the beginning is a big cost but not doing may also be a big cost. You never know.
2 more months until I leave California and this $800 yearly tax behind me! I'm starting new in Illinois. $500 up front and $55 a year.
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