Question – I would like to have a craft sale on my farm 2 times per year. I would like to have my first sale in the fall of 2018. What are the first steps I need to take to set this up. I am at the very beginning/planning stage of this. Thank you for any help you can give me or articles I can read to assist with this.
Our Answer – Some of the steps will vary depending on the rules and regulations for where you live in Minnesota.
The first thing I would check on is your zoning and whether you can have the business located on your property. Seeing that you are on a farm, that probably means you live somewhere rural and that is usually easier to have approval from the city. Also since it’s only twice a year you should be in good shape, but some areas have regulations and processes to follow before being able to open a business. Contact your city hall and possibly the county clerk to be sure. While you are checking on zoning be sure to ask if you need a business license. I doubt you will for this type of business, but you will still want to check. There are no state business or professional licenses to be concerned with.
Once you have approval, you will want to be sure you have the proper insurance as most homeowner’s policies will not cover commercial activity. You will definitely want liability insurance and possibly theft coverage should your items be stolen.
Depending on if you are going to do business under an assumed name (which is a business name that isn’t your full first and last name) you will need to register an assumed name with the Secretary of State – see https://startingyourbusiness.com/minnesota for more information.
You will need to register with the Department of Revenue for collecting sales taxes since I assume you will be selling items at retail. Some of your sales may be through booth rental from other vendors, but that revenue won’t be charged a sales tax.
One other thing you will want to spend some time on is promoting your event, especially since it’s only twice a year. The whole business plan may not be necessary but you could work on the marketing section to get all of your thoughts on paper. After each event, write down what worked and what didn’t so you don’t forget since the events are infrequent.