Starting a new soap and cosmetic business? You will most likely need to meet the same requirements as any other new business. Here are some registrations that may apply to you.
Contact your city's business license department to find out
about getting a business license, which essentially grants you the right to
operate a business in that city. When you file your license application, the
city planning or zoning department will check to make sure your area is zoned
for the purpose you want. Residential areas have stricter
zoning. If you are not within city limits, you would contact your
county’s business license department.
Sales Tax License
Sales taxes vary by state and are imposed at the retail
level. If you sell your products at the retail level, you must
collect state sales tax on each sale you make. Be sure to register
to collect sales tax by applying for each separate place of business you have
in the state. A license or permit is important because in some states it's a
criminal offense to undertake sales without one.
A fictitious name (or assumed name, trade name or DBA name)
is a business name that is different from your personal name or LLC or
corporation name. It’s important to note that when you form a
business, the legal name of the business defaults to the name of the person or
entity that owns the business, unless you choose to rename it and register it
as a fictitious name. The legal name of your business is required on
all government forms and applications. Registering your fictitious
name is done either with your county clerk’s office or with your state
government, depending on where your business is located. There are a few states
that do not require the registering of fictitious business names.
A trademark is a brand
name, which includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used
to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one seller or provider
from those of others. Although federal registration of a mark is not
mandatory, it has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's
claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and
exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services
If you want to trademark your
brand name or your logo, you can visit the United States Patent and Trademark
Office at www.USPTO.gov. Since the trademark
process can be tricky, you may want to hire a trademark attorney that can help
you navigate the process successfully.
If you live outside the US, many of these topics still apply to you, but under a slightly different name. Check with your government's website to see which registrations you must complete to start a new business.
If any of these descriptions
seems confusing, you can visit any of the organizations named online for
further information, or you can contact your business attorney for help.