About 15 years ago, when I was on my way to college, I decided to go into International
Business. I thought it would be a great way to travel and see the world and work at the same time. Really, just submerge myself into different cultures and get an open experience. Different countries are not as bad as they say they are. It's kind of like war... 1 percent of the 1 percent see action... these aren't actual numbers of course, just my view point.
But the realism of me doing International Business is when I hit my third Spanish class and the teacher was speaking so quickly, I looked over at a previous classmate from Spanish 2 and I said, "WTF, I have no idea what she said and I am going to drown." Maybe that was a bad way of thinking. With 15 credits on my plate, I decided it was time to change my bachelors to Business Management and when I got the time, I'd take a foreign language that I could 100% focus on by itself.
As time went on and career paths presented itself, I ended up working full-time military and wearing the uniform everyday. The only problem with this is that it's not watering my desires to work in business and be a boss. To actually run something. I realized that I needed to fulfill my desires without giving up stability. And my boyfriend doesn't want me working a second job where it takes me out of the house. I found myself shopping on Etsy a lot. I didn't think I would even consider shopping on there... But between a couple of aunt's and a cousin, I really started getting into quilting. That led to shopping on Etsy for the fabrics I wanted to work with.
While I was shopping on Etsy, I found that I could total engage my creative side and sell items on there all from doing it at home! I was stoked. But what next? I knew I needed to do a couple of things but didn't know where to start. So the first thing I would recommend you doing is calling your city. In Michigan, I went to the LARA web site, www.michigan.gov/lara/and called them directly asking them to speak to the small business department. This is the start of opening an limited liability corporation. You may hear them call it the Corporation Department. Don't let that scare you. If you already have a business name in mind, you can ask them if that particular name is in use. That will help when filling out your paperwork. Then they will direct you to fill out a form 700- Articles of an Organization, https://www.michigan.gov/douments/lara/700_08-15_528193_7.pdf . They give you the option to mail it in or submit online. This document will cost you $50.00 to submit. When all is done, they will give you an Entity ID Number and you are to keep that for your records. I filed online and received mine by mail.
To get an EIN tax number, you just need to call the IRS and ask for one with your company. That is FREE. But remember, when you start your business, you have to file your taxes quarterly. It's best to open a business account to keep your quarterly earnings in that account until you've paid your taxes. You don't want to accept all this money and think "OH MY GOD, I'VE GOT A NICE GOOSE EGG", spend it and then have to pay taxes and now you are constantly behind. Start off right, grow your business and see where you stand. I would personally take a year before truly dipping into those funds yourself.
The last thing, one of the most important, is the logo for your company. This is the image that will be imprinted on all items, your store front, your business cards.. wherever your stamp of love wants to be seen. You can register your trademark through your state. In Michigan, you need to file a Form 600- Application for Trademark/ Service mark, https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/600_08-15_528082_7.pdf . You will need to submit this form by mail and it will cost you $50. Read carefully: If you submit your trademark for print and adhesion but you want to now apply it to a clothing tag (embroidery) you will have to submit another application for $50. With that being said, I would highly encourage you to select all items on the application so you aren't constantly paying $50. Here is the catch. When submitting the application, you have to have photos on how you will use your logo. This means you have to have a logo already designed and ready to go. I asked if a photo of a business card would be ok, and the answer was yes. It is an example of print. It needs to be in actual use, not just drawn out on how it will be used.
If you choose to not continue with your business, you may want to call LARA (or whomever your state affiliate is) and dissolve the name for someone else's use. There was a name called "The Toolbox" that was dissolved and our military organization used it to start gaining funds for morale boosts. So we thank whomever dissolved it. Also note, that if you do not pay your taxes, your name will be dissolved without you having to do anything.
Hope this helps you get on the right track for opening your own e-commerce business! Maybe one day, I'll have my own brick and mortar! #Goals
Keyboard Photo Cred: entrepreneur.com
Goose Egg Photo Cred: techdaddyvideos.com