Category Archives: Accounting, Taxes & Legal

Articles on regulatory aspects of online selling, including sales taxes, VAT and intellectual property issues.

Selling on Amazon in the EU? Your VAT Obligations Explained

Claire Taylor demystifies Amazon’s European fulfillment options and their VAT implications – including the new Pan-European FBA

This post is by Claire Taylor, CEO of SimplyVAT.com – a company which helps ecommerce businesses trade across borders in compliance with complex European VAT legislation.

Amazon is steadily implementing its amazing vision to be the greatest online shopping marketplace for millions of customers across Europe. It now offers access to EU customers through five marketplaces: Germany, UK, Spain, Italy and France. It has 31 distribution centers in seven countries and is constantly looking to increase this number.

Amazon wants its sellers to access the huge mature ecommerce market within the EU, which last year grew 12% to a staggering €500 billion. There are 96 million online shoppers in the EU spending an average of €1,500 per year. It’s a great opportunity for sellers to access new markets, increase profits and ensure sustainable online retail businesses!

Continue reading

Sales Tax Nexus for Online Sellers: Amazon FBA, 3PLs and More

This post is by Mark Faggiano, Founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service that helps more than 5,000 online sellers with sales tax calculation, reporting and filing. TaxJar offers a free 30-day trial.

If you are an online seller in the USA, you’re probably well aware that you are required to collect sales tax from buyers in your home state. But, as with just about anything to do with tax, it gets a little more complicated than that.

This post provides the fundamentals for sales tax nexus for online sellers, including what creates nexus, and what that means when it comes to collecting sales tax from your customers.

It covers the impact of using Amazon FBA (and other third-party fulfillment services) on sales tax nexus, how to determine whether a fulfillment service gives you nexus, and what to do if it does.

Continue reading

US Sales Tax Holidays: What Online Sellers Need to Know

Sales Tax Holidays 2016 State Map

This post is by Jennifer Dunn, Chief of Content at TaxJar. Throughout her writing career, she has specialized in demystifying tricky income and sales tax concepts for business owners.

“Tax-free weekend.” “Severe weather preparedness holiday.” Depending on what part of the country you’re in, you may see sales tax holidays crop up in your state from time to time. As a buyer, they can be a great way to save a few bucks on school supplies or a new, more energy-efficient washing machine.

But as an online seller, sales tax holidays can present a major headache. If buyers are buying school supplies from your out-of-state online store during the tax-free weekend, they’re going to expect a tax-free purchase. If you aren’t prepared, you may end up with some unhappy customers.

But before we get to how online sellers should handle sales tax holidays, let’s back up. What’s the deal with sales tax holidays anyway?

Continue reading

How to Use Trademarks to Protect Your Amazon Private Label Business

Amazon Private Label Trademarks

This post is by Eric Perrott, a trademark attorney at Gerben Law Firm, PLLC, a firm founded by Josh Gerben. Eric has extensive experience handling trademark matters for Amazon sellers, helping clients have more than 1,000 infringing listings removed.

Whether you are white labeling or private labeling, it’s important that you understand the role that trademarks can and do play in your Amazon store’s success.

White labelers order unbranded goods from a manufacturer and apply custom packaging, while private labelers procure and offer products exclusive to their Amazon store. Both approaches allow sellers to build a brand and market products under that brand, charging a premium for their items.

Let’s take a look at a few trademark tips that these Amazon sellers can’t afford to ignore.

Continue reading

US Sales Tax for European Online Sellers: The Essential Guide

US Flag Maze

This post is by Emma Scotton, Director and Founder at independent ecommerce consultancy KnowGlobal. KnowGlobal offers advice and support to online businesses, both large and small, on all aspects of their ecommerce offering. They help clients grow their businesses both domestically and at an international level.

Ecommerce is booming and businesses are increasingly fighting for a share of the lucrative global market by looking at ways to take their online business cross-border.

The US market makes for a particularly attractive option, with US consumers expected to spend $327 billion online in 2016. Moreover, the number of web shoppers in the US is expected to grow by 15% this year to 192 million and each shopper will be spending more on average, up 44% from 2012 to $1,738 per year.

What’s more for marketplace sellers is that global marketplaces are expected to own nearly 40% of the online retail market by 2020, providing a viable and rewarding route to new markets for businesses of all sizes.

In the rush to expand, however, merchants can overlook areas of international business that are unfamiliar. Ensuring you support international payments and have a logistics network capable of fulfilling orders is important, but with new opportunities come new complexities, particularly when meeting the challenge of sales tax compliance in the United States.

Continue reading