For today’s small business, the online economy has created amazing opportunities to do business far and wide. But those same opportunities can make things confusing and complicated when it comes to sales taxes.

At the heart of the issue is nexus, or a connection between your business and a state that creates an obligation to pay sales tax in that jurisdiction.

The first and most important step in sales tax compliance is figuring out where your business has nexus. This is easier said than done, as nexus rules vary quite a bit from state to state, but there are some common nexus-creating situations to keep an eye on.

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SP photoScott Peterson is the Director of Government Affairs for Avalara, Inc. Avalara is the industry leader in providing sales tax automation to small and medium sized business. In his role, Scott leads Avalara’s effort to be the first name in sales tax automation. Prior to joining Avalara Scott was the first Executive Director of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board. For seven years Scott acted as the chief operating officer of an organization devoted to making sales tax simpler and more uniform for the benefit of business. Before joining Streamline Scott spent ten years as the Director of the South Dakota Sales Tax Division where he was responsible for the state sales and use tax, the state’s contractor’s excise tax, the sales and use tax for over two hundred cities, and the sales and use tax for four tribal governments. Scott also spent twelve years providing research and legal writing for the South Dakota Legislature. Scott is a veteran of the U.S. Army and holds a master’s degree from the University of South Dakota.