I live in Florida and, from what I have been reading about the sales tax laws (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong!) it’s required to collect sales tax at the shows. In order to do that, you need to obtain some type of sales tax permit, which you can only do if you have an official business. 
I am just starting out and, in addition to art shows, I am hoping to open my own photography studio in a year or so. I was told the best way to go about this is to register as a sole proprietor right now so I can get the sales tax permit.

It seems way to early for me to even think about registering as an official business, but I don’t see another way. Given that I don’t plan on opening any type of studio until a year from now, is it still only to register a a sole pro proprietor this soon? I plan to do art festivals on a pretty routine basis, but that doesn’t feel like a business to me. 

Is anyone else just starting out or can give me some guidance. (Don’t worry, I know no one can give legal or business advice, I’m just looking for a little insight)

(also, I know I posted a similar question, but I took everyone’s advice and did more research and I’m still a bit confused)

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  • You don't need a license to sell work at art festivals. I'm not even sure what a "business license" is, and frankly you can do lots of events where no one is even paying attention to collecting sales tax. Not a good idea, but nothing to worry about a year ahead of time. Where are you planning to do shows? Florida? I just found this cool link that tells you how to register for a sales tax license in every state, including Florida. https://blog.taxjar.com/register-sales-tax-permit-in-florida/

  • I don't know a thing about FL, but in several states getting a license to collect sales tax is quite basic and simple.  The first thing that I suggest is to get a sales tax license in FL. Make the contact, get the forms, and look them over.  It may be more basic than you think.  I have collected from a number of north eastern states, and each one works differently. Best wishes!

  • Get yourself a good accountant and a good lawyer for small home based businesses. Their costs will be agood investment and give you a leg up on your competition who will most likely be mucking around trying to figure stuff out while you can be producing art.  60 years professionally in art work 47 years in business, I have learned a few things. 

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