Silly me for thinking obtaining a business license in the state of West Virginia would be easy. I should’ve known better…
Yesterday, I asked one of the clerks at the courthouse if I could buy a business license there. She told me that I’d have to apply online through the Secretary of State website. When I looked, I was discouraged because there wasn’t an option for sole proprietorship.
Today, I called Jefferson’s county Chamber of Commerce. My exact question: “Do I need a business license if I want to become a self-published author? I wouldn’t buy any books to sell. People would have to go online on Amazon to purchase my books.” She told me that she had no idea and that I’d have to ask someone higher up.
Which led to…
The Small Development Business Center in Berkeley county. She was very helpful. She told me that it isn’t necessary to obtain a business license to sell books; however, if you don’t then you can’t deduct expenses from your earnings. Yikes! She told me that it’ll only be $30 and is worth the fee. I think she said it was a one-lifetime payment, but I could be wrong. More likely, it will be once a year payment.
Which led to…
The WV State Tax Office (a 1-800 toll free number). She’s mailing me the business registration form tomorrow morning. I had the option of going to the tax office in Berkeley County but I can’t afford to take off work. Hopefully, once I fill it out, it’ll be smooth sailing. I hope it’s not a long waiting period to hear if you’re approved or rejected.
Anyway, I’m scolding myself for not doing this earlier. Hopefully, everything will work out, so I can still have my book release date set this month. It’s the only thing I’m waiting on. The formatting wasn’t difficult at all–may change my tune once I attempt to download onto PubIt, Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords. Actually let me take this paragraph back; I don’t want to jinx myself LOL.
For fellow writers in West Virginia interested in self-publishing, here’s useful contact numbers:
- Jeff. Co. Chamber of Commerce 304-725-2055
- Small Dev. Bus. Center 304-596-6642
- WV State Tax Dept. 1-800-422-2075 and/or http://www.wvtax.org