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I want to open a small retail shop. I'm questioning the

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I want to open a...
I want to open a small retail shop. I'm questioning the steps needed to legally run a business like this. What would I need to optain to legally do so. I would be self employed and want to know how to legally do my taxes. What other things would I need as well.
Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Business Law
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5/26/2018
Business Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Attorney replied 1 month ago
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 971
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
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Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. First, congratulations on wanting to take the step of opening a business. A lot of what should be done will depend on exactly what you will be selling, but if the items to be sold in your shop do not fall under any special legal regulations (e.g. alcohol, food, etc.) below I provide some steps to consider:

- Consider whether you want to operate as a sole proprietor or whether you want to form a separate business entity to provide you an additional layer of protection of your individual assets from any legal liability of the business. The most common entities are LLCs, S-corporations, and C-Corporations. These first two are most utilized by small single owner or limited owner businesses. This will dictate how taxes are handled. If you are a single member (single owner) LLC, your business income and expenses will be shown on your personal tax returns. If you are an S-Corporation, the same thing is true. If you are a C-Corporation (which is typically not used for small businesses as there are a lot more required filings with the state), your corporation would pay corporate income taxes and you would either be paid a salary or would receive dividends as a shareholder. The key for tax purposes is to keep your business and your personal monies separate and to keep good records and receipts for all business expenses.

Other steps to take/consider:

- Identify a location and negotiate a lease for space in which to locate your retail shop, unless you wish only to operate online; make sure the location you identify is zoned for commercial/retail use - an experienced commercial realtor should be able to help identify suitable properties for your planned business

- Visit your local business license/permitting office and apply for and obtain a business license in your local jurisdiction; this is your permission to operate a business in that area

- Obtain any retail sales license, typically from the state, which will provide you permission and an account through which you will pay any sales tax collected on your transactions

- Obtain insurance to cover your location, your inventory and your basic business operations, including general liability insurance that would provide coverage if someone is injured in your store, for example; speaking with an experienced business insurance agent will help you identify what coverages are advisable and at what levels

- If you will have employees (and even if not for bank account and general accounting matters), obtain an EIN - Employer Identification Number - from the IRS. This can be done online here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online

I hope this information helps. There are obviously a lot of other things you will want to do to get your business set up - identifying suppliers for inventory, upfitting any leased space, getting a point of sale system to process payments, opening a bank account, etc. If you need additional assistance, feel free to reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

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Business Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Attorney replied 28 days ago

Just wanted to check in to see if you need any further assistance.

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