So, you want to sell your crafts! There are numerous ways to sell them such as at craft fairs, vendor markets, farmers markets, craft shops, and online on your own website or platforms like Etsy or Amazon Handmade. But before you decide where to sell, you need to take some steps to become a formal business:
- Choose your business trade name if you want something other than your own name to operate under.
- Register the trade name with your town. You need to do this if you want to open a business bank account under the trade name. If you just operate under your own name, you may not need to register, but check your town hall to be sure.
- Open a separate bank account even if it’s under your own name. You should always keep your business finances separate from your personal finances.
- Check for state laws that might pertain to your business. For instance, if you sell food products, you need a license from the state. See the Laws Page for more info.
- Sales Tax Permit- you need this regardless of where you sell. And make sure you remit the taxes to the state on time! You need a separate Tax ID for each state you physically sell in. See more info on Sales Taxes HERE
- While not absolutely required, having separate business Insurance is always a good idea. See more about Insurance HERE
- Business Cards and/or brochures
- Clear photos of your crafts – you will need these for fair applications, websites, Facebook, etc.
- Recordkeeping software or use of Excel or like system for keeping records of income and all expenses. Keeping careful records of all the money you receive and all the money you spend on your business will make tax time much easier. It will also give you a good idea of how your business is doing financially. If you are uncomfortable dealing with this yourself, see an Accounting Professional.
- Make sure to keep all of your business receipts together for tax purposes.
- Write a clear description of your art/craft. You will need variations of this for Craft Fair applications. Writing it ahead of time will save time later and make sure that you are not leaving anything out.
- Writing your Bio/Artist Statement also is a good idea. Some fairs ask for this for advertising purposes, but you can also use it on an “About” page if you create a website.
- Create your own website, or at least a business Facebook or Instagram page to show off your business to the public. Include photos and where the items can be purchased.
- Join and follow craft groups on Facebook and Instagram and other social platforms. They can be very helpful in all areas of your business.
- If you will be selling at Arts & Crafts/Vendor Fairs, you will need many supplies for those. See the separate page for Selling at a Fair.
Do you have any other tips on starting your own business? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!