Just because you’ve started selling your art doesn’t mean you have a legitimate business. You have to get some things in order.
Here’s a list of the basic legal entities you should be set up with. The names and titles of your state’s departments may vary from those below, so I’ve showed you how to search for them. The good news is that almost every piece of information you need will be online.
Your state’s department of state
For: registering your art business
Google this phrase: register business [your state] to find more
See also: Selecting the Legal Structure for Your Business
a resource from the Small Business Administration
Your state’s department of revenue
For: Sales tax registration and filings.
And: Business tax and estimated tax filings.
Google this phrase: sales tax license [your state]
Or: business tax filings [your state]
Your city and/or county department of revenue
For: Local tax, including sales tax, filings.
Google this phrase: sales tax license [your town]
Internal Revenue Service
For: Federal business and personal tax filings.
And: Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
Use for your business in place of your Social Security number.
While most everything is online, I have found that in-person training is well worth the effort.
I have attended free sales tax classes at both the state and the local level. Sales tax is one of the most confusing parts of my business. Attending the classes didn’t clarify things completely, but it got me started and also gave me contact names for when I had questions. (I'm envious of those of you who live in places with no sales tax!)
Locate and then search the above sites. Take advantage of any free training they offer.