Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Soap and Cosmetic Business Start-up 101

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.
Business Licenses

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.
Fictitious Name

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 registered.

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.


  1. For any business you must have a trade name. Trade name is the most important part of any business. And trade name registrations has to be given prime importance in a business incorporation process. Otherwise it will produce problems in the future.

    1. Yes, a trade name, while not required to conduct business, is a good idea to have.

  2. Wonderful information... Best way to learn about starting a soap business by doing it. This post is a great source of information for the people looking to start up a soap business anyways.



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