The Supreme Court ruled today to overturn Quill, the 1992 ruling that has prevented the 50 states from making overlapping demands on out-of-state companies. Burdens can be placed on small businesses by states immediately, and what constitutes an “undue burden” is left to be litigated in future cases.
Small e-commerce companies are facing a new reality where sales tax paperwork, payments, and audits with all states with sales taxes (45 currently) may become normal when starting a business in the USA that sells online. No other country in the world has such a potentially massive paperwork requirement for online businesses.
Big winners are large businesses who can afford large tax departments to handle these burdens, businesses that don’t sell online, and foreign companies who are unreachable by the states.
The biggest losers are small to medium sized American companies who sell online in any fashion.
From the perspective of the Online Merchants Guild and our members, the ruling is disappointing and dangerous. The organization filed an Amicus brief in this case, highlighting the damage to American entrepreneurship that could be possible. The ruling from the court is, in fact, more damaging than could have been anticipated by eliminating Quill’s protections for small business, without replacing them.
The Online Merchants Guild will continue to take actions at the national and state level to speak for our members, engage in litigation against powerful states on behalf of small businesses, and fight against undue burdens to interstate commerce.
More detail on the Supreme Court ruling and our plans will follow for our subscribers and followers.