New York State Business Register for a NY Sales Tax Certificate of Authority

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Original Post

Hello! I've read through many threads on here with some helpful information. So I decided it's time to go ahead and register for my ny tax id. I got stumped on the very first question!

Legal name? My name? or My etsy shop name?

DBA? Etsy shop name???

Nothing seems to describe this six digit NAICS code for what my business is!

I'm ready to scream! Any help from people who already went through this process is appreciated!


Posted at 6:04pm Jun 18, 2012 EDT


GoTo from GoTo says

I used my DBA as I wanted that on the certificate they send--they put both the business name & your name on it.

I forget offhand what NAICS code I used when I updated my registration recently--I think I did one with some generic retail code and one for independent artist.

Did you try the NAICS tool on the NYS website? How about the ones linked to from here:

Posted at 7:07pm Jun 18, 2012 EDT

Oh thank you so much! That is perfect! One other question... I don't think I have to register my "business" name, but is the ein or fein as on the form required? Thanks again for the link!


Posted at 8:00pm Jun 18, 2012 EDT

GoTo from GoTo says

If you are selling under a name other than your given name, you might need to get a DBA from your county. If you'll be collecting sales tax under your DBA, I think that should be on the certificate but I don't recall if it is required--doesn't hurt to include it anyway. I'd call the state to confirm it is ok not to use it on the certificate if you choose to go that way

I think NY doesn't require an EIN, they'll accept your SSN and give you a separate tax id number--I used an EIN & it was a few years ago (before some recent changes) so I'm not really sure, but the EIN is free & only takes a few minutes to get, and you will need it if you need to hire someone down the line so I think getting one is the way to go.

Did you use the OPAL site? It should tell you if you need to get an EIN--see the first link here:

NY Sales Tax & Business Registration Requirements

Posted at 9:05pm Jun 18, 2012 EDT

I did start to use the opal site, but I wasn't sure of the answers so I stopped. But you have provided some awesome info and it makes more sense than me reading the ny state forms! The EIN was optional because I don't have employees...but I wasn't sure if that was also tied to the DBA. Since I have my legal name listed on my etsy shop, I don't think I need the DBA, but I will call the state tomorrow morning to make sure. I will repost here what they say, just in case someone else looks at this discussion in the future.

Thanks again for helping me make sense out of all this!

Posted at 9:24pm Jun 18, 2012 EDT

Ok I called the state this morning, they directed me to my local county clerks office. I called the monroe county clerks office and they would not answer my question about the DBA...just kept saying ti was a question for an attorney.
The DBA and EIN were optional on the OPAL form, so I did not use either one. I do not plan on hiring employees nor do I plan on opening up a bank account under my etsy shop's name. My legal name is listed on my etsy and also on paypal, so I should be ok. If I understand correctly, this way I can just use the Schedule C EZ form on our standard income tax return at the end of the year.

Thanks again,

Posted at 1:29pm Jun 19, 2012 EDT

GoTo from GoTo says

Glad to help Deb. Funny that they wouldn't answer... from Monroe County's website:

"In accordance with New York State General Business Law (Section 130), the County Clerk accepts and files certificates of persons conducting business under an assumed business name. These transactions are commonly referred to as DBA (Doing Business As) filings."

"The General Business Law requires that individuals or partners conducting commercial activity under a name that is not their real name must file DBA certificates with the County Clerk. Filing a DBA protects the business name from use by others in the county where it is filed"

DBA (Doing Business As)

I guess they couldn't decide if you were doing business under your real name or business name & didn't want to make that call?

Even if you don't get a bank account under your business name I recommend getting a separate one for connecting to Paypal (and other online services if you use them for your business).

It makes tracking your business income easier, and it protects the bulk of your money (savings/personal checking) too. We got free business checking account from a local bank, no minimum, nothing special. We transfer funds out of that account as often as possible so Paypal doesn't have access to it.

As a sole proprietorship, even with a DBA & EIN, you can file the Schedule C EZ to report your income taxes along with your personal income taxes (on the 1040) so long as you still meet the limitations for filing on the Schedule C EZ (there's even spaced for your business name and EIN on the form):,,id=187696,00.html

Most sellers here either carry an inventory or have a loss in one or more of their start up years which prevents them from using the Schedule C EZ.

Posted at 1:56pm Jun 19, 2012 EDT

I guess I'm still confused myself about the DBA? The only form of payment I accept is PayPal. So technically buyers are paying me, my legal name, not my etsy shop name.

What do you mean when you say

"We transfer funds out of that account as often as possible so Paypal doesn't have access to it."

How can you not let PayPal have access to it? Do you only use direct checkout on etsy?

Posted at 2:56pm Jun 19, 2012 EDT

GoTo from GoTo says

Our Paypal account is a business account so it has our business name, though I guess I could have left my personal name. (You need a business or premier to sell, not a personal PP account.)

I mean that when Paypal has $50 or $100 in it, I transfer funds to my free business checking. Then I transfer the funds to a different bank account (in a different bank) so that there's no chance PP will be able to freeze up that money on me or use up the money in the account I rely on to pay bills if my PP account gets hacked. (Happens more often than I'd like to think about.)

Posted at 3:05pm Jun 19, 2012 EDT

Please forgive me with all the questions...When you say you need a business or premier account to sell, not a personal PayPal...are you talking about outside of etsy?

That makes sense about using a different bank account...actually never thought about getting hacked :/ but your right it does happen!

Posted at 3:12pm Jun 19, 2012 EDT