Can California Residents Run Their Business from Home with a Travel Agency License?

With the digital age growing stronger each day, many people are turning to work-from-home opportunities, such as being a travel agent. This type of position can give you more flexibility to tend to your daily needs, but it can come at a cost. Can California residents run their business from home with a travel agency license? Learn more about what to expect within this industry here. 

Do You Need a California Travel Agency License?

According to California law, most people who are going to be arranging travel for others are required to register for a travel agency license. It doesn’t matter if you live in the state or if you plan to operate your business from home. You will register as a Seller of Travel (SOT). 

How do you know whether you fall under the umbrella for this requirement? Generally speaking, you will need California travel agency licensing if you are selling, providing, or arranging for air and sea transportation. You may also need a license if you are booking land or water vessel transportation where the charges will exceed $300. 

If your business falls within this range, then you must register with the Attorney General’s office as a part of the Seller of Travel program. Keep in mind that the Attorney General’s office will not provide any kind of legal advice. If you require guidance on how to fill out your paperwork, you will need to contact a lawyer who specializes in this area. You can also sign up for licensing with The License Company for assistance. 

Other Circumstances for Licensing

Are you a travel agent who wants to plan trips to the Golden State even if you don’t currently live there? If you plan to arrange for transportation and accommodations within the state, then you will also need a travel agency license in California

While your customers may be located all over the world, you will need a license to help them plan their trips and operate your business from home. You must fill out your Seller of Travel Registration at least ten days before you start to do any business within the state of California. 

Travel agency licenses in California are not required under certain circumstances. If you arrange for transportation but never receive money for your services, then you do not need a travel agency license. Likewise, other businesses do not need one including: 

  • Air carriers
  • Ocean carriers
  • Government-authorized transportation providers
  • Lodging establishments that arrange transportation without accepting payment

If you choose not to get your travel agency license, you could be left to face huge fines. Always err on the side of caution and fill out the state-specific paperwork to get approval well in advance of conducting business within the state. 

No matter where you are conducting business, it is essential to have a California travel agency license if you are going to plan trips to the area. Make sure to know all the requirements ahead of time so that you can better protect yourself and your business.