California Rules “”Brick and Mortar”” Stores Created Nexus for Online Retailer.

In a recent decision by the California District Court of Appeals, the court ruled that “brick and mortar” stores in the State of California were acting as agents for an online retailer giving the online retailer nexus in the state. The court found that the “brick and mortar” counterpart to the online retailer would accept returns and provide refunds, store credits or exchanges for goods sold from the online retailer, but would not offer the same services for goods from other online retailers. The internet store was selling and shipping goods to in-state customers. The cash register receipts in the “brick and mortar” store would also direct customers to the online retailer. The two entities also used similar logos and employees of the “brick and mortar” store were instructed to refer people to the online retailer. These facts supported the conclusion that the online retailer indeed did have nexus in the state and was responsible for registering in the state and collecting sales and use tax. (Borders Online, LLC v. State Board of Equalization, California Court of Appeals)

Posted on November 21, 2005