If you are located within the territorial boundaries of any U.S. jurisdiction, then you have a physical presence. That said, "services" are generally non-taxable. "Goods," and "consumables" are taxable.
You will need a private investigator's license. You may contact the Division of Licensing Services by mail at P.O. Box 22001, Albany, NYNNN-NN-NNNN or by phone at(NNN) NNN-NNNN
Business licenses are locally controlled. Contact:
Regional Economic Development
145 Village Square
Painted Post, NY 14870
A fictitious business name (DBA) is a different subject, because the real issue is whether you want to incorporate as a separate entity in order to limit your liability in the event you are sued or go bankrupt (you do). Corporations do not need DBAs.
There are numerous businesses that can set up a corporation, or you can probably get a book that tells you how at Barnes & Nobles, or some other large bookseller.
Terms and Conditions: By your continuing in this conversation with me, or by your clicking "Accept", you are expressly agreeing to all of the following: (1) our communication is for entertainment purposes only; (2) you are not consulting me in my professional capacity as an attorney; (3) you do not seek to establish an attorney-client relationship with me, nor do I with you; (4) you will not rely on anything I say and you will obtain appropriate legal counsel via a traditional/office consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your legal issue arises (and you may not use our communication to avoid taxpayer penalties imposed by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury); (5) by communicating with me in this public forum you are irrevocably waiving any right to privacy, confidentiality and attorney-client privilege concerning the matters discussed. You further separately declare that any payment made by you is not consideration for this contract, nor offered for any services rendered by me on your behalf, but rather is made in genuine admiration and respect for my desire to help others. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, then you must advise me immediately.
Thank you very much for your help. I do have a question based off your answer though. I was told that I do not need to have a private investigators license to operate the website. I am a training investigator and one of my mentors who are licensed are the ones who told me this. He told me that this would be considered "information brokering" which does not require a license and I could do it while training. Would this be correct??
The licensing statute is reproduced below. My interpretation would include investigations into the background of persons. Though the word "background" is not found in the text of the statute itself, the phrase, "...conduct, honesty, efficiency, loyalty or activities of employees, agents, contractors, and sub-contractors," seems to cover those research activities conducted by a background checking organization.
NY Statutes GBA §71. Definitions1. "Private investigator" shall mean and include the business of private investigator and shall also mean and include, separately or collectively, the making for hire, reward or for any consideration whatsoever, of any investigation, or investigations for the purpose of obtaining information with reference to any of the following matters, notwithstanding the fact that other functions and services may also be performed for fee, hire or reward; crime or wrongs done or threatened against the government of the United States of America or any state or territory of the United States of America; the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation or character of any person, group of persons, association, organization, society, other groups of persons, firm or corporation; the credibility of witnesses or other persons; the whereabouts of missing persons; the location or recovery of lost or stolen property; the causes and origin of, or responsibility for fires, or libels, or losses, or accidents, or damage or injuries to real or personal property; or the affiliation, connection or relation of any person, firm or corporation with any union, organization, society or association, or with any official, member or representative thereof; or with reference to any person or persons seeking employment in the place of any person or persons who have quit work by reason of any strike; or with reference to the conduct, honesty, efficiency, loyalty or activities of employees, agents, contractors, and sub-contractors; or the securing of evidence to be used before any authorized investigating committee, board of award, board of arbitration, or in the trial of civil or criminal cases. The foregoing shall not be deemed to include the business of persons licensed by the industrial commissioner under the provisions of §24-a or subdivision 3-b of §50 of the Workers' Compensation Law or representing employers or groups of employers insured under the Workers' Compensation Law in the State Insurance Fund, nor persons engaged in the business of adjusters for insurance companies nor public adjusters licensed by the Superintendent of Insurance under the Insurance Law of this State.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).