Business License and Small Business Licenses

Small business licenses grant you the right to operate a business in your location. Failure to obtain the proper business license and permits may result in additional fees and penalties. So to keep your new business out of trouble from the get go you need to do some research.

First contact your city's business license department to find out about zoning information in your area. Some local governments require you to obtain a home occupation permit for a home based jewelry business. The cost of this permit is usually a flat fee, but it could be a percentage of your annual receipts.

If for some reason the zoning in your area doesn't allow for a home based business you can petition for a variance. Some cities still have old laws on the books regarding home businesses. Years ago these zoning regulations were put in place to restrict people from starting certain businesses in residential areas.

The next step is to obtain the application for a small business license. I remember when I went to my city hall to find out about permits and licensing. The clerk looked at me as if they had never heard of such a thing. Yes it's true, if you live out in the boonies your local government may not require you to have a business license. But you need to check just to make sure.

The next order of business is a sellers permit. Some states call it a sales tax permit others call it something else. Just call your states department of revenue and taxing authority and ask them to mail you the application. You need a sales tax license to collect sales tax for the state and county where you are selling your jewelry. When you fill out your application find out if you can file and remit the tax on an annual basis. This means you only fill out the form and mail a check once a year. This makes it easier on you then sitting down every month to do this chore.

Some states require you to have a mobile sales tax number if you are going to shows or jewelry parties. It's no big deal and you can usually use the same form to file your sales taxes. If you are traveling to another state to do parties and shows you will need to obtain a sellers permit for that state as well. If you are selling your jewelry online you only have to collect sales tax for customers that live in the same state as you.

You may also want to apply for a federal Employers Identification Number (EIN). You many not have any employees at this time but as your business grows you may want a part time helper. It's also a good idea to have an EIN to give to vendors and customers instead of your social security number.

If you're still not sure which agency to contact about your business licenses just call your local chamber of commerce or The Small Business Administration. It's also a good idea to call your attorney and accountant for advise.