Need advice for opening a adult toy shop

by mct09
6 replies
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I want to open an online only sex toy shop (drop shipping from another company) in NJ. I only want to sell a few things from certain categories like vibrators and lubes/lotions/etc and then maybe later on add other things. And it will be a rather small shop accepting Paypal payments only because I don't want to go through the hassle of accepting credit cards. I know that will derail some sales but I can live with that.

What do I have to do legal-wise in order to make this happen? Do I need to get a business license or anything of the sort? If so is legalzoom good enough for such a request? The shop is gonna be a one woman operation. No employees and I want to handle everything myself including the website design which I've actually already started on in private.

I was using another site that did the website for me and I'll I had to do was drive traffic into the site. But that site has thousands of the same looking sites. I have better ideas for the shop I want to open. The thing I'm hung up on right now is the whole need a license thing. When I had that other shop all they asked for on the form was a tax id or my ssn. It's one of those sites that's well known for letting you open your own adult store. The customer service was less than satisfying (to me) to say the least so I decided to leave that and open mine own store.

Basically what I need to advice on is:

- What kind of business license do I need, if any? Can I go through legalzoom?
- What kind of tos, privacy policy, age verification information will I need to put on the site and where can I get it?
- Does a shop selling small items such as vibrators, lubes, and minor things like bondage (ie: small things like wrist cuffs, paddles, etc) even need any of the above information?
- Is it really necessary for me to see a lawyer for such a small site? I have social anxiety (hence opening an online business) and all I want to do is open a shop so I don't have to deal with people face to face from 9 to 5.
#adult #advice #opening #shop #toy
  • Profile picture of the author wouj
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    • Profile picture of the author mct09
      Okay, I see nothing of interest on your site.

      Does anyone have any legitimate advice?
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      • Profile picture of the author LABEShops
        What you need to do to set up shop depends on where you are located. Check with your local county courthouse - they will usually have new business start up packages full of information. They will tell you what sort of business license is needed. Usually you will need a county and often a city occupational license (even if you work from home) and a sales tax resale certificate.

        You don't necessarily need to see a lawyer - you can easily set up a sole proprietorship using your social security number, but you will need to file taxes, pay sales tax on in state sales, etc. You can also use legalzoom as you mentioned to set up as an LLC or Corporation - depends on what legal entity you want to set up.

        Paypal, by the way, does not accept sex toy sites unless they grant you an exception, which they probably will NOT do for a new shop. You need to look at adult friendly card processors.

        As someone who has a sex toy shop, I can tell you it is a VERY competitive market, so I suggest you take the time to research seo and marketing techniques before you do everything.
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        Owner of LABEShops.com & 20+ Niche Online Stores as well as Scifispace.com and other sites. Recommended Host: Evolve

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  • Profile picture of the author icoachu
    I am kind of confused by your question.

    Are you saying that you only want to sell in New Jersey or are you talking about basing your online store in New Jersey but selling to the rest of the country?

    Since you are drop shipping, I think this is a moot issue.

    Your drop ship provider will take care of shipping and order fulfillment.

    I think your main focus should be on building a separate brand.

    Also, you might get into problems with PAYPAL because of the adult nature of the devices you are selling.

    If you are able to clear all those hurdles, my advice is to use a business form along the lines of an LLC.

    The great thing about an LLC in New Jersey is that you get the legal benefits of a corporation without the tax hassles of a corporation.

    For example, if somebody sues you because of something you said in your marketing, they cannot reach your personal assets.

    They can only collect their judgment against the assets of the LLC.

    However, unlike a corporation, you get only taxed once with an LLC.

    With a corporation, you get taxed if you are drawing income as an employee.

    You pay employment taxes.

    On top of that, you pay a corporate tax.
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    • Profile picture of the author danbrey2010
      Originally Posted by icoachu View Post

      If you are able to clear all those hurdles, my advice is to use a business form along the lines of an LLC.

      The great thing about an LLC in New Jersey is that you get the legal benefits of a corporation without the tax hassles of a corporation.

      For example, if somebody sues you because of something you said in your marketing, they cannot reach your personal assets.

      They can only collect their judgment against the assets of the LLC.
      This is technically true but a HUGE problem that most LLC owners will find themselves in...is the way that they run their businesses. If they are running their business like a true business (as outlined in their LLC Company Agreement) then you are technically correct. However I must caution you...even that will not fully protect your personal assets against civil or criminal judgements.

      If the owner(s) of a LLC is neglagent in his/her actions which causes harm or damage to an individual then they can and will be held liable. The courts have shown this time and time again. Additionally, if the owner personally secures credit/debt for the LLC, then the owner's personal assets can be liquidated to satisfy the debts. If the owner secures the debt with personal property then that personal property can and will be secured to satisfy the judgement.

      Originally Posted by icoachu View Post

      However, unlike a corporation, you get only taxed once with an LLC

      With a corporation, you get taxed if you are drawing income as an employee.

      You pay employment taxes.

      On top of that, you pay a corporate tax.
      Again...this is technically correct. A LLC can either be taxed as Disregarded (Individual) or as a corporation. The choice is the owners. Either way, on top of the standard tax rate, the owner is subject to self-employment taxes (15.3%).

      However, forming a Corporation has a lot of tax advantages that other business entities simply don't have. One of the most important advantages is that a Corporation can have a Medical and Dental Expense Reimbursement Plan. This allows you to have a dollar for dollar tax deduction. Another benefit is that a corporation can also have a dollar for dollar deduction for Educational Expenses. This comes in handy for those of us who have kids in collage. These are just a couple of advantages to forming a corporation. I could go on and on.

      If you're thinking about starting your own business, choosing the right business entity will not only protect your assets but will also save you tons of money on your tax liabilities. Every business is different and the smart thing to do is to speak with a professional. You'll be glad that you did!
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      If your business generates revenue of $60,000 or more per year, you're probably paying too much taxes. Most small business over pay their taxes by nearly $12,000 per year. Creative Tax Planning and Strategic Business Entity Selection are critical elements for limiting your tax liabilities and safeguarding your wealth and assets. Contact me if you want to drastically reduce your tax liabilities. Sorry...USA businesses only.

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  • Profile picture of the author kjamesnv
    I was in this field from 1999-2008 and did VERY well. However it was a different ball game then. Now the market is extremely over saturated and highly competitive.

    I honestly can not recommend this market for an inexperienced ecommerce marketer. Look at Adamandeve.com and think about how you can compete with them.... Its not easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicky Roberts
    I recently open my online sex toy store and would like some advice as to how i can direct traffic to my store
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