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Starting a Business?

Starting a Business?

Found something you love to do and decided to start doing it as a business?  Great!  The same thing happened to me.  Here are some things I learned.

Figure out what sort of a business entity works best for you.  Even though I am an attorney, it never crossed by mind to try to figure this out on my own.  So, tip number one:  consult an attorney about how to set up your business.

I don’t have a brick and mortar store.  I make my soap in my “studio”, which is a fancy name for my basement.  My home is on a street that is zoned “residential”.  Ergo in my city, no business license without getting a “home occupancy waiver”.  And, since I was considered to be a “manufacturer”, I had to have a hearing before a committee of the Board of Aldermen with notice to the neighborhood before I could get such a waiver.  I get it.  I really do.  In fact, I would not want somebody operating a business in my neighborhood if it generated a lot of waste, or traffic, or fumes, or was a nuisance.  So I went door to door and asked my neighbors if they would agree to my operating my business in my basement, and since I wasn’t going to generate a lot of waste, traffic, fumes, or otherwise be a nuisance, they were ok with it, as was the Board of Aldermen.

So, tip number two:  Find out what your local regulations are about operating your business and comply.

Tip number three:  Don’t be a sales tax scofflaw.  Open a sales tax account.  Charge sales tax (unless you are exempt for some reason).  I included sales tax in my price so I wouldn’t have to carry around a whole lot of coins.  The Missouri Department of Revenue makes it pretty easy to remit the sales taxes.  I don’t know where you live, but I bet you have a state department of revenue that would be thrilled to help you charge sales tax!

Tip number four:  Keep good records. 

Tip number five:  Find out what the law is relative to your product and comply.

And always, study, study study your craft.  That’s tip number 6.

If any of you are in business and have tips to add, let me hear from you!

Shaun HautlyComment