Etsy is a fast-growing, $1.8 billion platform, which allows community members to sell their handmade goods online. We run you through five quick tips to consider before you open your own Etsy store.

1. Consider a Business Name

Deciding on a business name can be harder than you think, and a good starting point is to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Has someone already trademarked my proposed business name?
  2. Will I be able to register the business name?

You should know the differences between a trade mark and a business name, and also that if your business name is registered, then you shouldn’t use it!

You can check whether or not your proposed name is trademarked on IP Australia’s search system, ATMOSS. Your next step is to register your trade mark and prevent others from using and selling under your brand name.

If you want to register your business name, you can search the Australian Business Register (ABR) and see whether the name you want is available. The ABR will not approve your business name if an identical or very similar name is already registered.

2. Consider Whether You Need an ABN

In Australia, you require an ABN if you:

  • Are an enterprise in Australia;
  • Have an intention to make a profit; and
  • Can demonstrate that you have a business structure in place.

If you are only opening your Etsy store as a hobby, as opposed to operating it as an online business, you will not require an ABN. If your store generates over $75,000 in revenue, then you will need to acquire an ABN and also register for GST with the Australian Taxation Office. For more information, you can read our article about whether you need an ABN to sell on Etsy.

Once you obtain an ABN, you will receive certain benefits including the ability to reclaim goods and services tax and using the PAYG tax system.

3. Taking images

Copyright protects images on the internet, including Google images. If you want to use images to display the products you sell, you will need to get permission from the copyright owner, also known as a licence. There are websites that provide images that are already in the public domain, and which you can use without permission.

It is also important that the picture accurately represents the product you are selling. If the buyer receives an item that is different to the picture, your buyer may be entitled to a refund or exchange.

4. Warranties & Guarantees

Etsy’s Terms & Conditions do not cover customers for any misrepresentations as to the quality, safety or legality of products. Etsy also does not guarantee that there are no defects or that errors will be corrected. This rests entirely with the seller.

Under Australian Consumer Law, consumers who purchase from a business are protected by consumer guarantees. If you are running your Etsy store as a business, it is likely the consumer guarantees apply to your goods and your business guarantees that the products are of the following:

  • Acceptable quality;
  • Produced with due care and skill; and
  • Match the advertised description.

If you are not operating your Etsy store as a business, then you are a private seller and the Australian Consumer Law does not apply.

5. Tax

In Etsy’s terms and conditions, sellers are responsible for paying any tax on the sales that they make. This means that if you are required to pay tax, you should adjust the price of your products yourself to cover you for the cost of tax payments.

Questions? Get in touch on 1300 544 755.

Dhanu Eliezer
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