I meant to spend some time this morning knocking out at least 2k words on the follow-up novel for Closure. Ironically, I haven’t gotten to do that yet. That doesn’t mean that I won’t get to do just that, though. I will, but there were other pressing matters that needed attending.
You see, I’ve spent the better part of the day looking into getting things into order for my publishing label, L. D. B. Press. Initially, it was supposed to be L. B. D. Press but when I was registering for a custom I.S.B.N. for the printed version of Closure I fumbled in the typing and reversed two of the letters. Because of this, I accidentally listed my label as the above through Bowker’s. The rename may, or may not, be a good thing.
While having an e-publishing label/company may not require any sort of licensing or permit, I wanted to make sure that I have the legal aspects of it taken care of. I was adamantly surprised that there were no licenses or permit available for this sort of business. Even more surprising is that this type of business isn’t well-documented. If you go to search online for information, you won’t find that many helpful sources that will point you in the right direction as to making your label/company legalized.
For example: I typed in the following words into Google – e-publishing business licenses and permits. The search engine returned a list of links that it thought would be useful, but didn’t actually provide me with anything substantial.
I popped onto the SBA’s website to see if they could point me towards the right direction, but they weren’t much helpful there. They’re mostly tailored to small trade businesses, and as I was told, e-publishing doesn’t fall into any certain categories in the normal business world. When the lady that I spoke to told me this, I was mind-blown. You’d think that with how big the literary world is, they’d have gathered the necessary information for this business. Turns out, that it’s not like that.
I did some further research and came across this website for Business Licenses. While this site may be legit, it left me feeling as if the way they conduct their business is kind of sketchy. The person that I spoke to was helpful, to some extent, but he didn’t actually provide me with the names of the licenses and permits that I would need. He simply stated that in order for them to send me the necessary forms and files that I would need to dish out about $99.00 which would then be deducted from my credit card within 1 to 3 business days ONCE they emailed me said forms and files. I immediately got a funny feeling about that and said thanks, but I’ll get back to you on that and moved on to further my research.
I ended up getting in touch with the town clerk here who let me know that I’ll need to formally register my trade name. Doesn’t seem as if I’ll have enough time to do that today, but I’ll be taking care of that on Monday. I was then sent over to someone in the Department of Consumer Protection’s Licensing Services department who kindly informed me that I’d need my very own Tax Identification Number if I were to decide to sell my books from my own website. Since the woman wasn’t sure about the proper licenses and permits, she directed me to the Office of the Secretary of State. They weren’t much helpful either, since this type of business is not a trade.
From there, I got in touch with someone in the Better Business Bureau who was able to listen to my requests and offer insight on what I needed to do and where I would go from there. She then referred me to the Department of Revenue so that I could get started on acquiring my TIN. The D.R.S. was the biggest help of all. I spoke to one of their specialists and he sat down with me and explained things in further detail. He also explained as to whether I wanted to make my label an L.L.C. or a corporation, to which I said neither since I’m the sole-proprietor of this venture and I haven’t hired any employees to help with what I need to do. He kind of laughed at the fact that I said I have a habit of trying to do things myself when it comes to my books.
He led me through the basics of getting a Sales and Use Tax Permit and the do’s and don’t of filling out the Reg 1 form for acquiring an TIN. He pretty much said that no further licensing or permits were needed, unless I were to expand into a traditional printing press service later on. Which if I were to ever do so, then I’d need to acquire zoning permits and other licenses that are required. All in all, he was very helpful.
The last thing I did was speak to someone at the zoning commissioner’s office to find out if I needed any zoning permits. Turns out that since this is all done from here at home, I don’t. Not unless I plan to open up my home for selling my books myself. Which I’m not planning to do, at the moment.
This entire process took awhile to do, but I’m honestly glad that I’ve done it. I’m the type of person that likes to do things the right way. It’s been bugging me for some time that I hadn’t been able to properly find what I’ve been looking for in regards to legalizing my publishing label up until now. But the saying goes, ‘All good things come in time, right?’ At least I am now able to have things in order and not have to worry about any issues further down the line.