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Q: License Needed for Selling My Art? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: License Needed for Selling My Art?
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: nerv-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 08 Sep 2003 14:44 PDT
Expires: 08 Oct 2003 14:44 PDT
Question ID: 253635

I'm a photographic artist, currently trying to market my work.  I'm
hoping to sell to interior designers as well as individuals.  I'm
wondering if I need a license to sell my art.  I live in Whittier, CA.
 I also do garden design, and will be obtaining a license for that
soon (see my answered google question regarding that topic).  If I do
need a license to sell my art, can I use the same license as that I
will be getting for the garden design?....or does it have to be a
separate license?  If I can use the same license, do I have to list
both "business's" on the form?  Will the license be good to do
business in other cities?  Thanks much.
Subject: Re: License Needed for Selling My Art?
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 09 Sep 2003 08:27 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there Nerv~

According to the City of Whittier website, “the City requires that any
person conducting, carrying on, or transacting any business, trade
profession or occupation in the City of Whittier must obtain a
business license from the City.” (I apparently cannot post a direct
link here. Therefore, from this page: , click on City Hall. Then, in
the left hand side menu, click on “City Clerk—Treasurer”)

You will need to apply in person, at:
Office of Business Licensing
13230 Penn Street
Whitter, CA 90602

If you have two separate businesses, you need to have two separate
business licenses.

The Planning Division will check the zoning on your business license
application. There will probably be restrictions. (Some common ones
include no business signs allowed, or only small signs allowed, or
limitations on traffic your business depends on the city
code and your neighborhood.)

You should also know that in Whittier, “private mailbox addresses are
for mailing purposes only and cannot be used as a business address. A
separate license must be obtained for each branch establishment or
separate place of business. Whittier Municipal Code Section 18.10.02
regulates businesses based out of the home. Contact the Planning
Division of the Community Development Department at (562) 464-3380 for
the regulations.” (“Business Licenses,” )

You can download an application for a business license here:

If you will be operating your sales under a business name, or a name
other than your real one, you will need to have an assumed business
name (called a fictious business name in Los Angeles County. Here is
information about this filing and it’s fees, from the County of Los
Angeles website: )

In Los Angeles County, you will also need a Seller’s Permit; for
information on this, be sure to see this County web page:

You may need to obtain a tax ID. Your city/state can give you
information about this. A tax ID may also prove helpful when it comes
time to buy supplies; it will help you buy them wholesale.

You will not need to apply for a business permit for other cities,
unless you are physically selling in another city (that is, your place
of business can be found in another city).

You may also find this brief article on “Starting a Business,” hosted
by the Whittier Chamber of Congress, helpful:

Good luck!

Keywords Used:
sell* art "business license"

"city of" Whittier California

Request for Answer Clarification by nerv-ga on 09 Sep 2003 09:57 PDT
Hi kriswrite-ga,

Thanks for taking my question.  I should mention that I work
freelance, both as an artist, and as a garden designer.  I work from
home on my computer and drafting table, and do not plan on having a
storefront or shop as it is not necessary.  I meet my clients in
coffee shops or at their home/place of business, so no traffic will be
created by my busines. I use my own name for both business's, and I
already hava P.O. box in town.  I work with clients from many
different cities.  Knowing this now, does it change any part of your

Thanks so much!

Clarification of Answer by kriswrite-ga on 09 Sep 2003 11:12 PDT
Hi Nerv~

When I originally began looking into your question, I anticipated that
I'd reply that if you were freelance, meeting clients over the phone,
online, or in their place of business, you wouldn't need a business
license. That's the way it is in most states/cities.

However, according to Whittier City's website: "ANY person conducting,
carrying on, or transacting any business, trade profession or
occupation in the City of Whittier MUST obtain a business license from
the City." (Emphasis added.)

They do not list any exceptions to this rule. So, in order to comply
with the law, you'll need to make a trip to City Hall. It's possible
that in person they might make an exception, but judging from their
website, I'm doubtful.

Good luck!
nerv-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the answer kriswrite.  I appreciate your help.

Subject: Re: License Needed for Selling My Art?
From: leoj-ga on 11 Sep 2003 14:10 PDT
I suggest you check out the web based photographic and other visual
art community and its web portal for artists to
sell their art

The first is an online community that you may find of interest, and
the latter is a very interesting means of selling high quality prints
with little or no investment or overhead.

Hope that helps.
Subject: Re: License Needed for Selling My Art?
From: nerv-ga on 11 Sep 2003 20:01 PDT
thanks for the tip leoj-ga, i'll check it out.

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