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Running a Retail Biz in Your Home

Ready to jump into a retail biz? Make sure you have the proper permits first.

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This story appears in the October 2006 issue of Start Up.

Question: I want to start a retail business out of my house. Do I need a resale license? And what about a federal ID number and a business license?

Answer: A resale license or permit, which may have a different name depending on your state, enables you to buy products for resale without paying sales tax on them until you resell them to a purchaser, from whom you collect the tax. Some suppliers may sell to you only if you have a resale number, which indicates to them that you're a legitimate merchant. To find the name of the tax agency in your state responsible for sales taxes, go to your state's website or see www.govengine.com and Lexisone. From your state's tax agency site, you can get the forms you'll need for reporting your sales.

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