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How to Start a Crafts Business

Your friends and family have probably received your crafted products as gifts or they've seen your talents and have said "You could sell this stuff!" As you already know, it isn't easy. But you've just taken the first and most important step - you asked for help.

Craft baskets


1. Get the proper permits.

You are going to need a business license. Visit your city's web site or go to your city office and obtain the criteria package and application for a business license. A basic business license is generally very inexpensive. Each year, at the anniversary of your business license renewal time, your city may require a report from you that will determine the renewal fee.

Depending on the types of products you make, your city may require a fire permit. This may lead to an inspection of your home and the area of your home in which you work.

Resale license or Use permit. If you live in a state that collects sales tax, and you intend to sell your products to the general public, you will need a Seller's Permit or Resale License. Visit your state's web site or call your State Board of Equalization for an application. There is usually no fee for a resale license; however, (depending on your state's guidelines) you will be required to submit quarterly and annual reports that will determine the payment you will make to the state.

2. Set up your purchasing. Establish a business relationship with manufacturers and/or wholesale dealers and distributors of the raw materials you use (fabrics, yarns, paints, floral products, canvas, hand tools or power tools, baskets, new or used widgets, etc.). Buying direct from manufacturers and wholesale dealers requires a business license and a sales permit.

(Where do you find these businesses? Google will become your best business partner. Simply type in what you're looking for: such as Wholesale Crafting materials, or Silk Flower distributors, or Textile Manufacturers, etc. There are thousands of them out there.)

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