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Take the right steps to turn your hobby into a business

These days, everyone seems to know at least one person who sells handmade goods made at home. From jewelry to cake pops, sites like etsy.com allow anyone to give it a try. Whether you are just starting out or are already making decent profits from your sales, you are essentially running a business. In order to maximize your earning potential, you should treat it as such.

 

Below are some of the business basics everyone who is turning their hobby into a business should follow:

 

  • A business plan will provide direction and keep your goals in line. It doesn’t have to be intricate, but it is good to have a clear idea of your income potential and whether you need to hire contractors or employees.
  • Intellectual property assets must always be protected. Whether it is simply your company name or a product name, you should consider trademarking or copywriting it whenever possible. Doing this will not only protect your work, but it will also increase its value if you sell the business in the future.
  • Plan for funding and keep track of it. If possible, finance your hobby or craft business out of pocket, but if that is not an option, you may need to obtain financing. Keep accurate records of any borrowed money to ensure you pay everything back and can easily reference the information while filing taxes.
  • Get the necessary licenses and permits for your business. Depending on the type of products, the means by which you are selling them, and the state you are operating from, you may be required to obtain specific permits. In Florida, you will probably need at least a sales and use tax. Most of the information you need to reference can be found at the Florida Department of Revenue website.

 

If you have more complex questions about starting or growing a business, Kelley & Fulton’s West Palm Beach business attorneys can help. Prepare your list of questions and contact our office today to schedule a consultation.