We also have a number of regular out-of-state online customers and these customers may be directly affected by the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (MFA). The MFA seems to have potential to disrupt the effectiveness of our online store at Dee-O-Gee.com. As I've been digging into what it will take to be compliant with the MFA regulations, it seems to be overly tedious and time consuming for small B&M retailers that also offer online sales, such as ours. These small businesses, however successful they may be, are often operated with a limited budget and limited staff resources (much like ours at Dee-O-Gee). Staying in compliance with MFA regulations could potentially derail our online store sales to out-of-state customers because it would be very challenging and costly to keep up. Additionally, penalties for sales tax noncompliance tend to be very onerous, and most states can hold a company personally responsible for any unpaid sales tax liabilities. A state can confiscate our personal possessions in order to collect unpaid sales tax owed by our company. Unlike Amazon.com, Lowe's, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and other big retailers, I am not armed with an army of expensive accountants and attorneys. In a worst case scenario, dealing with an innocent mistake in complying with complicated MFA regulations could potentially put us out of business and personally bankrupt us. That is something that I am not comfortable with and is leading me to re-think my long term strategy for online sales at Dee-O-Gee.com.
What do you think? Are you an online retailer? How could the MFA of 2013 affect your business? Please comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!