I am looking into starting a home-based decorating supply business as, besides Michaels/Walmart, our nearest suppliers are over an hour away.
I'm part of an amazing group of ladies in Central Alberta who would love to have a local place to get supplies, but I'm not getting much help from anywhere on starting this up.
Has anyone in Alberta or Canada done this?
I appreciate anyone's advice - I just know that USA & Canada have different laws on home-based businesses.
- Resources for finding the info needed for a business plan
- Resources for distributors I can sell from
- Cost estimates on getting started
- Permits / licensing
- Level of success you've had
Also wondering: I have a name picked out for the cupcake business I never started. Could I use that name for my supply business and add cupcakes later if I wanted to? Or should I go for separate business names?
Cant help you with the first.
But regarding your last question : I wouldn't mix those two. It's always "easier" to have a clean cut (yes, it's a pain to set up another business, but your auditor will thanks you). I run 3 businesses at the moment and the pros are definitely weighing more than the cons.
On a side note: I'm not familiar with us laws. But while you're drafting your business plan (s) I do recommend you set up an appointment with your bank and auditor. Am sure they'll advise you.
Good luck anyways!
There are different levels of government you will be dealing with. I am in Ontario.
Alberta is different from all other provinces in Canada as it does not collect provincial sales taxes, at least not presently. You will have to collect federal tax however.
You should first investigate bylaws regarding running a business in the home, that would be at the city or town level.
Your local Chamber of Commerce should be able to point you in the right direction regarding who to contact for small business start-up advice. You really need a business plan. There is likely a small business development council in your area. Your local bank manager or commercial development bank could provide assistance.
You will discover that some companies have exclusivity clauses. They will not allow you to carry other company's products and if you do, you will be charged a higher price for their products.
Your best bet regarding product distribution is to contact the manufacturers of products you are interested in selling and find out how to become a distributor.
You will need to register as a business. You will need to contact your home insurance company to ensure that by running businesses from the home, you are not voiding your home coverage. You will need liability insurance.
I am afraid that no one else can do the leg work or investigation for you because if someone had and was operating the same business, there wouldn't be a need for yours.
You need to keep both businesses separate. Your cupcake business will have totally different rules governing how you operate - for example health and food safety regulations. For your sale business you will need to investigate shipping. Packaging will be another consideration.