FAQ

Can you own a business while on disability?

Owning a business is a dream for many but the question of starting a business while on disability brings much uncertainty.  While there…

What do i really need to get started selling handmade crafts in Texas?

Question – Hello, I am a Green card holder living in Texas.  I would like to start sell my handmade craft (cute necklaces) in convention events. (and trying on Etsy). It is only me making and only me selling them. I have been asked by ANIME-CON to show a “Tax Certificate Number”, So how do I get one? How much will it cost? Maybe I will do it once or twice a year (and hope to find part-time job for the rest of the year).Our Answer – In order to get the “Tax Certificate Number” you will need to visit the Texas Comptroller to get a Sales Tax Permit which allows you to collect sales tax for the retail items you sell.  There is no cost to obtain the number. Here is more information about how to get a sales tax number in Texas.

What type of license or registration do I need to start a crafting business out of my home in Minnesota?

Question – What type of license or registration do I need to start a crafting business out of my home in Minnesota? I have a vinyl cutting machine and would like to sell t-shirts with customized lettering, signs, keychains, and other miscellaneous crafts.Our Answer – You will want to check with the city hall or related municipal local government agency to see if you need a local business license for running your business out of your home. It is unlikely, but you should check to be safe. Since you are selling products at retail, you will need to obtain a a sales & use tax permit from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. You will collect sales tax from orders that are shipped within Minnesota, but those sent outside the state aren’t currently taxed. Ask us your Question! Have a question about starting a business? Let our business advisors who have worked with over 1,200 entrepreneurs answer your questions. Best of all, there is no charge! Click to Ask

What licenses/permits are required for online business in Arkansas?

Question – What licenses/permits are required for online business in Arkansas? Are they the same as a regular business or are their differences?Our Answer – Licensing requirements for online businesses are largely the same as regular businesses. If you are doing business out of your home, you probably don’t have to register at the local level, but some cities/towns do require home based businesses to register. Check with your city hall or related local municipality to be sure. The other thing you will need to register for is a sales tax permit from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration if you are selling property or services that are subject to sales tax. Here is more information about what is taxable in Arkansas and how to apply. The cost for this permit is $50. Ask us your Questions! Have a question about starting a business? Let our business advisors who have worked with over 1,200 entrepreneurs answer your questions. Best of all, there is no charge! Click to Ask

Can I open a business on a military base?

Lots of military spouses want to supplement their husband’s income by starting their own business, but if they live on the military base there are certain restrictions that must be followed.  Most military spouses start a home-based business so they can stay mobile should their military spouse gets restationed. Some of the types of jobs that are allowed to operate while you are living in military housing include: Childcare Bookkeeping Craft business Sewing and tailoring Graphics Sales such as toys, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, etc. Food such as cakes, catering or specialty foods Writing & resume services Blogging Teaching (i.e. art, music, dance, etc. lessons) E-commerce Contacting the Military About Your Business After you have determined the type of business that you want to run, you must then contact the base commanding officer or the housing officer so that you can follow your installation’s rules and regulations regarding your business. You can also get some advice in advance from the base legal assistance office concerning things such as liability or taxes. There may also be separate rules or regulations for your state or local community, so be sure to check those things out before you begin to run your business. Look under the listings to find contact information for things such as business licenses, zoning or tax requirements. Another place that can help family members who wish to start a business in military housing is the Army Community Services, Navy Family Services Center or Air Force Family Support Center. These places are geared towards providing all sorts of information to help military families in many different situations. Common Questions Asked by Potential Business Owners Family members who wish to start a business usually have several questions that they need answers. One of the common ones is, “Do I need a business license?” The facts are that it depends on where you live and the type of business you have. Every state has different rules and regulations governing businesses and licensing needs. Be sure to check out what is required in your area, as just because you are living on a military base, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow local rules and regulations.  In addition to a business license, you will need to choose a business entity.  For more information about the various legal structures such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and LLCs.  Check out our state guides to starting a business for specific information. Using the Military Postal System For those families that live overseas and live on a military base, a common question is whether or not they can use the military postal system for shipping out products they may be selling from their business. The answer is that it is prohibited to use the military postal system and ship from an APO or FPO address for commercial purposes. Home Office Tax Deductions? If you are the owner of a home business and live on a military base, you may also wonder if it is allowable to take a home office deduction on your income taxes. The answer is that part of it might be allowable depending on the circumstances. For example, if you live in privatized housing and all of your housing costs are paid for by the military, then you can’t count things like rent or utilities on your taxes. But if you live in a military housing unit that bills you for utilities then you can count that towards your taxes, or if you pay separately for things like phone and Internet service, you may be allowed to count those as well. Overseas Status of Forces Agreement Rules Another challenge is for those family members that live on overseas bases because they must follow the Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA rules between the US and the foreign country they are in. If a family member wants to have an overseas business on base, they will have to sign an agreement stating that they will not violate any of the existing SOFA regulation for that area, so you must first fill out paperwork to show what kind of business it is and how it will operate or you could be in violation of foreign law. Limitations of Businesses on Military Bases Like any other place you want to run a business, there are limitations to running a home business on a military base. For instance, if you want to do work that you already have a license for such as being a beautician, a manicurist, etc., then you will have to show your state license number and have the right kind of liability insurance. Plus, you can’t compete with the facilities on the base like the military exchange, commissary, etc. And if the services are related to medical, or foods you may have to get special approval. In addition, when it comes to selling products, certain items such as sex toys may actually be illegal, so check first before starting any home business on base. All in all, it is possible to have a business on base if you do some advance research and be sure to follow all the associated rules and regulations. Ask us your Question! Have a question about starting a business? Let our business advisors who have worked with over 1,200 entrepreneurs answer your questions. Best of all, there is no charge! Click to Ask

I want to buy a business but have no money down. Is there a way to buy it?

Question – I want to buy a business but have no money down. Is there a way to buy it?  The seller is currently in poor health and won’t finance the entire purchase but would be willing to do 25%-50%.  This is a nice little profitable restaurant and he is only asking $95,000.   One solution could be to have the seller hold 25%-50% of the sales price and let the bank finance the remaining.  The bank funds would go to the seller for the purchase of the business and you may be able to not have to spend money out of pocket to acquire it. Collateral may be an issue, so be sure to total up all of the equipment, furniture, fixtures, inventory, etc to see it that covers the $95k price tag.  Any collateral shortfalls will likely need to come from you personally.  Also be aware that the seller will be taking a backseat position to the bank and you typically won’t be able to pay the seller off faster than the bank.  This means if you have a 5 year loan with the bank, the seller will need to be paid back over 5 years as well. Trying to buy the business with no money out of pocket isn’t an easy way to go and many banks won’t do a loan without owner investment.  The banks that do may want additional personal collateral.   

What Taxes do Businesses in Nebraska Have to Pay?

Depending on the type of business, there are a variety of taxes a business in New Hampshire to be aware of with the two of…

How Do I Get a Tax Certificate Number for Selling Crafts in Texas?

Question – I am a Green card holder living in Texas, I will like to start selling my handmade craft (cute necklaces) at convention events. (and…

I Need to get a Sales Tax Permit in Florida. Where do I go?

Question – I need to get a sales tax permit in Florida. Where do I go? Our Answer – The sales tax permit is through the Florida…

What Licenses are Needed for a Salvage Grocery Store in Illinois

Question – Do I need a salvage permit from the state of IL. and how much are they and where do I get them if needed?