How to start a creative business in Minnesota

Are you a crafter, a hobby painter, or someone who throws bowls?  Thinking that you have a lot of inventory sitting around?  Maybe someone has seen your stash and told you that your items were awesome or great and that you should sell them.

That idea might be sitting in your head.  Maybe I should sell them.  Then the next question arises… how?

Setting Up Your Business with Your State…

Is it as easy as setting up a table at a local craft event?  Yes and No.  If you only ever intend on selling at one show then sure, it’s that easy.  However, that show might require you to have a state tax id number.  In Minnesota, where I live, Minnesota requires you to register for a tax-id number through the Minnesota Department of Revenue.  You can click here if you’d like me to walk you through that process as you also need to research your NAICS code which can lose you from the get-go.

Why do you need to register for a tax-id number?  Because good ol’ Uncle Sam wants you to collect sales tax and pay it as due.  If you don’t make a lot of sales right away, you can sign up to pay this tax yearly, but you MUST keep your email address current so when they email you to say, a reminder to pay by this date, you do it.  Or you will be fined and still have to pay your taxes or be fined and forget that tax id number, and you won’t be allowed to continue selling.

I don’t tell you this to scare you but just put a reminder in your phone and in your cash box that when you go out selling you need to collect sales tax.  If you start doing well and have consistent sales you’ll want to pay quarterly.  Also done online and is easier once you get the hang of it.  In Minnesota, clothing items and food are tax-exempt meaning you don’t charge sales tax and you don’t need a tax-id number if you sell them.  If a craft/vendor event asks for one, just write N/A.

Once you have your tax-id number in hand, then fill out those forms for the vendor event.  You may need to bring your own tables/chairs/displays or some venues have them available for free or for a charge.  Do check into that before you go.

Next stop: Pricing!