Selling in Illinois

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Rusti

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I understand that I have a lot of work to do yet and I expect it will be this time next year before I am ready to sell my soap, but I was curious if there are any forum members in Illinois willing to offer advice.

I plan to purchase the label guidelines book and the good manufacturing practices book when things settle down from between jobs a bit and I'm still working on a soap recipe or two that I like and can consistently reproduce and holds up well.

The only problem is that I'm kind of fumbling with what I need to do to get started and what to expect. My uncle is an accountant, but he's not a lot of help because he thinks I'm just opening a can of worms when I talk about registering my own business and not doing my tees and graphic design work under Dad's business anymore.

And for any of you that live close enough to Missouri to cross the river and sell there for craft shows, how do you manage that?

I understand this may be a tall order, so feel free to finger wag at me as needed.
 

KristaY

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I don't know anything about tax and business laws in Illinois or Missouri but suggest looking for the book "Bubbles to Bucks" written by Elin Criswell or something similar. Each state has it's own requirements on setting up a business and how to pay sales tax, income tax, etc. You'll probably need to start with the Illinois corporation commision and get guidance there on how to proceed and what steps you need to take. If you sell in another state, you'll have to look into that also.
 

earlene

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Hi, Rusti. I live in Illinois and used to own a restaurant, so that is my experience with business ownership in Illinois. I do not plan to sell my soap ever, because I don't want to run a business again. So I may not be the person from who you want to hear.

To prepare for opening a restaurant here in our small town in Illinois, my husband & I took a small business class offered by our local College. If you have such an opportunity where you live, I would highly recommend taking advantage of that. Besides covering all the basics about the legal side of starting a small business, including licensing, accounting, advertising, writing a business plan, finding a location, etc. they also offered continued f/u help if wanted. We really got a lot out of the course and it helped a lot when setting up the business.
 

Rusti

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Hi, Rusti. I live in Illinois and used to own a restaurant, so that is my experience with business ownership in Illinois. I do not plan to sell my soap ever, because I don't want to run a business again. So I may not be the person from who you want to hear.

To prepare for opening a restaurant here in our small town in Illinois, my husband & I took a small business class offered by our local College. If you have such an opportunity where you live, I would highly recommend taking advantage of that. Besides covering all the basics about the legal side of starting a small business, including licensing, accounting, advertising, writing a business plan, finding a location, etc. they also offered continued f/u help if wanted. We really got a lot out of the course and it helped a lot when setting up the business.
We do have a small business incubator in Carbondale, at least for a little while longer. Who knows what will happen to it when it's emergency funding runs out and this state still doesn't have a budget.

I took one of their two or three hour evening classes but it didn't really help me a whole lot (I just got more confused). Maybe I'll see if I can meet with someone one-on-one at some point. I suspect that I will probably have to bumble through to get to the point where I sort of might know what I'm doing.
 

cmzaha

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Are you going with a Brick and Mortar of craft fairs. In CA we just need a Sellers permit from the State board of Equalization. Since we did not go under our name we had to file a fictitious name statement, and acquired a business permit for our city. I have run up against a few markets that try to require incorporation and I have argued that it is not necessary for a small business, and won. We will not even talk about how against incorporation I am. There is not longer any protection...

Not sure why your uncle would think you are opening up "a can of worms". Your uncle may not approve of small cash type businesses, if you are going the farmer market direction. With your resale license you can sell in other states, you just have to follow their tax structure. If you are going to try selling online, you will most likely need to inform your Board of Equalization or which department in your State handles re-sale licensing.

Do pick your business name carefully, changing and filing new fictitious name statements will cost additional money. LOL, I told my daughter when she started I did not like the name she picked. Well she has now gone through 3 dba's.. and we will not talk about how many logos
 

shunt2011

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It's going to vary from state to state. I would contact your small business if there is one. In Michigan I just had to register with the county clerk and apply for my sales tax ID. It was all pretty easy. I did check with both county and city offices to see what was required.
 

earlene

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Rusti, in Illinois, you will need to register your business with the State of Illinois if you will be selling to customers in Illinois. Read here to learn how to register. I have done it (when we set out to open our restaurant.)

You may or may not need a Federal Tax EIN number, which you can learn more about at the IRS website. See this link. We had to have one in order to open a business bank account, but also because we had employees. I believe you cannot open a business bank account without an EIN, but if you are a sole proprietor, I do believe you can have the business account in your own name. But the details about that are better left to professionals. I know we had to have one as a restaurant.

Perhaps it might be good to check out the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild for additional information for starting your business. HSCG can help you with insurance, merchant services, UPS shipping discounts, 10% off of Soapmaker Pro Software. I am a non-paying member, so can't tell you too much about those services. but someone else here probably can tell you more. In the meantime, this link covers some of the perks to being a paying member who has a business. That membership fee looks a little pricey to me, but I don't plan to sell my soaps, so I don't have to worry about whether or not to become a paying member.

I can't tell you about your question regarding going into Missouri to sell soaps there.
 

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