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Arts/Crafts Business/Requirements for a new online business

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Question
Hi there!

I am wanting to open an Etsy shop and be able to sell some of my small crafting endeavors (Like clothes for teddy bears, little doll outfits, etc), and also sell them at some nearby craft malls / festivals. However, I'm having alot of difficulty finding out exactly what I need to do in order to 'open business'. Do I have to have a business name registered? How do I handle sales taxes? What licenses do I need? One site said I had to have my building inspected! What?! I'm doing little crafts in my spare time to sell. That's it!

Can you please direct me to some resources that know what they're talking about?

Thank you for your time,
Amanda

Answer
Hi Amanda,
Don't get too bogged down with the little things at first. Get your Esty shop open and running and if you actually start to turn a profit, then you'll want to look into turning it into a real business. To purchase materials wholesale and also to sell at some craft fairs, you will need a license and tax ID. For many of them you don't need anything except something to sell. I started out of my home and had to get zoned first, but not the building inspected. So maybe that's what they meant.

I would get your Etsy shop set up first. You will get a 1099-K at the end of the year only if you make over $20,000 and if that's the case then you will most likely need to pay taxes.

If you reach the point where you do need to do all the legal stuff, go to your local Small Business Administration office. They will tell you exactly what you need to do, tailored to your city and state. That is the first place I went and they made it very easy, step-by-step getting started and even gave me directions to the zoning office, which was the first thing I had to do. There is a ton of info online, but sometimes it is easier to have someone help you in person. I highly recommend the SBA.

Thanks,
Candy

Arts/Crafts Business

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Candy Keane

Expertise

I can answer questions about starting, maintaining and marketing art and fashion related businesses for both e-commerce and brick-n-mortar retail situations. I can also cover selling your work on eBay, having an eBay store, promoting through blogs and social networking, as well as building your own retail website or portfolio.

Experience

I made costumes since I was little, started selling them on eBay 8 years ago, grew to an eBay store, created my own retail website ThreeMusesClothing.com in 2005, then opened my first storefront location in 2009. I started the business with one costume and now sell my own line plus many other brands in my store.

Education/Credentials
B.S. Magazine Journalism, University of FL, 2000

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