Ask a Business Lawyer. Get Business Law Questions Answered ASAP.
I am part of an 8 member, manager-managed LLC in the state of Illinois. We typically hold meetings at the residence of one of the managers, and this location is listed as the principal place of business on our articles of organization. We deal with the sale of digital goods online, and will potentially sell T-shirts and signed posters as well in the near future (to be shipped to the customers' addresses, not picked up at our principal place of business), though only for a one-time promotional event.
I was just looking into the local ordinances for the town our principle place of business is located in, and it states that a business license may be obtained for a residentially zoned location under a home occupation license. However, non-immediate family members are not able to be "involved or employed in the home occupation activities taking place on the premises." Do we violate the ordinance?
Hello, I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for. Where are the actual business activities carried out, such as sending out good ordered, responding to inquiries for digital products, etc.?
Currently, we do not have any sales. Right now, we just hold meetings and do work for about 6-8 hours per meeting, most often meeting once a week. Soon, we hope to sell in-game items for a video game through an online marketplace. We are also hoping to have a croudfunding campaign on Kickstarter, to raise funds for our upcoming video game. Some of the rewards for pledging funds to us include physical items that we will sign and ship to the backers of our campaign.
We will be having regular sales in the future. The sales will only be of digital goods and done over the internet.
If the foregoing activities will generally be done from your individual homes with occasional meetings at the one house that would not be a problem. If all of you were doing all the work out of a single house subject to that zoning restriction, you would be in violation of the zoning ordinance. If I have answered all your questions, please rate my answer excellent as that is how I am compensated. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.
Then would we obtain a home-occupation business license from our local town?
You cannot qualify for the home license since you are not all from the same family if you all work from the same house. If as I say that you each work from your respective homes, then you would be entitled to each get a home occupation license for your respective residences. As a practical matter, if you are working mostly from your homes and everything is online, nobody would ever know that you were running your business from your home. If you were to get a license, I would do it for the house that serves as the principal place of business. If I have answered all your questions, please rate my answer excellent as that is how I am compensated. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.
To clarify, you are recommending (and I understand you are not liable for your recommendation) that we apply for a home-occupational license at the principal place of business, with the idea that most work is done at our own homes, correct?
Yes that is correct. Since that is the principal place of business, that gives you a location that is identifiable. Since most of the work will be done at your individual homes only that one member will work there all the time. If I have answered all your questions, please rate my answer excellent as that is how I am compensated. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.
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).