Is selling products without a vendor license a sin or mortal?


#1

I dont have a store, I just sell at swapmeet.
I purchase cheap price products from china like: mini speakers, iphone cases, socks, shirts, combes, wallets, pants and resell them here at a swapmeet in the U.S and sometimes I sell them at some swapmeet in Tijuana when I go visit my girlfriend. Is it a mortal sin and illegal to sell products that I purchase with my own money without a vendor license. At time of purchase they never ask for any license or anything. I just order, and was shipped to my address. Some one told me I must have a license and pay taxes for the products I sell. In that case, getting a license makes me feel the goverment is stealing my money from what I sell.


#2

I noticed that you already asked a question about this in a previous thread. It seems like you are being scrupulous about it. It might be helpful for you to speak to a priest about this.


#3

I agree with marty that, based on your other posts, you need to seek the counsel of a good regular confessor.

That said…and just for the general information of anyone looking in.
The law can vary from state to state and county to county so it is best to find out how the laws are written where you are.
I had a booth at an indoor flea market for several years and we were required to have a vendor’s license and to collect sales tax. We sold leather goods and, like you, many of our vendors never asked us for our vendor number when ordering.
It may also be different for people buying and selling used items. But that does not appear to be your circumstance. You are buying and selling new items.

As to the matter of sin…When you had no idea that a license was needed, you were not in sin. Now that someone has brought the matter to your attention it is your responsibility to find out the truth of the matter (properly form your conscience) and then to act in an honest and responsible manner. If a vendor’s license is required for your business - then get one.
My experience is that they are not that expensive (ours was a small one time fee), and the paperwork to send in the taxes collected was not difficult at all just one quick little form couple times a year - fill out the form - write a check - done.

So - l will not say whether you are currently sinning - but your conscience is obviously telling you something - but I will say that basic honesty should compel you to make inquiry and to act in a just manner.

Peace
James


#4

Talk to your priest about the morality of what you are doing if you have doubts.

Talk to an attorney about the legal aspects of what you are doing to make sure you are following the law and will not get in trouble with the IRS down the line.


#5

In Europe it is illegal unless you don't pay tax, the company is not registred and you do not pay social fees, it does not matter if you are the only one in the company, you still need to pay for a future pension. But I am not a solicitor so I can not be sure, and I have not a clue what US law say about it.

And is ot a sin or a mortal sin? Anything illegal is at least a sin, depending on what you do. I think a priest would be in order here. And as I have said before, if something makes you feel bad, it is most likely a sin. So halt for a while, until you know for sure.

There is also a moral aspect. Many products you sell may be made with child labour, and if that is the case it might be a mortal sin. I hope I did not spoil your weekend though.


#6

Yes - things are quite different her in the States…A simple phone call or two, or even a visit to the county government website will answer most of his questions. Where I live the matter is handled through the County Auditor’s office.

And is it a sin or a mortal sin? Anything illegal is at least a sin, depending on what you do. I think a priest would be in order here. And as I have said before, if something makes you feel bad, it is most likely a sin. So halt for a while, until you know for sure.

Just to clarify - MOST things illegal are also a sin…We do not sin if we refuse to obey an immoral law. But that said…the matter in this thread would not be considered an immoral law.

There is also a moral aspect. Many products you sell may be made with child labour, and if that is the case it might be a mortal sin. I hope I did not spoil your weekend though.

I truly wish you had not brought up this factor. The OP is apparently struggling with scruples and the last thing he needs right now is additional issues to struggle with, especially things that he might not be able to know - or find out.
Let’s keep this simple and take things one at a time.

Peace
James


#7

Doing something illegal is not necessarily a sin if the law is unjust.

I would also argue that some laws are overbroadly enacted without the intent to criminalize everyday behavior, but to address a few specific situations or give local officials a tool to do so should the need arise. For instance, walking across your small residential street to retrieve mail from your box on the other side is technically jaywalking in some jurisdictions, unless you walk clear to the end of the block on your side, then back down to the box on the other - then reverse the process to return home. Everyone knows these laws are not meant to be enforced under normal circumstances, and thus I don’t think ignoring them when common sense dictates is sinful.


#8

James, I kind of had to raise that question. It was not a easy thing to ask, but I am against all that may hinder a child from being a child. In Europe it is a very serius matter and not taken lightly by governament in EU. Some shops in Europe have been criticized for selling products made by companys who use child labour. If my question did cause some problems I am sorry.

Digitonomy, We can not choose what law to obey and what not to. It is like The Bible and religion, it is impossible to use only what is suitable, it is all or nothing. One person who’s name I can’t remember said that “we must obey the bad law while waiting for a better one been created.” And no matter how stupid it may sound, and crossing the street where it suit us is not right. It is that simple, stupid, yes, but that how it is. It is a bit like rules on any given web-forum, some are maybe stupid, but they are there for a reason, and often a good one. We just have to live with that.


#9

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