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Business Start-up Information for
Candle Making Beginners

Welcome new candle makers to the Beginners Only page of Candle Business Corner.  Many of the questions you may have about starting your own candle business are answered here, in an easy to read Question/Answer format.
 

Question:  What is a Tax Identification Number, and why do I need one?

Answer: A Tax ID Number is a 9 digit number assigned to Sole proprietorships, Corporations, Partnerships, etc. for tax filing purposes, and is used to identify a business entity for federal and state purposes.  For more information refer to: 

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98350,00.html

 

Question:  What is an FEIN Number?  Do I have to get one?

Answer:  The  Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) is the same thing as the Federal Tax ID number.  Refer to the answer of question #1 for more information.

 

Question:  Can I use my Social Security Number instead? 

Answer:  A sole proprietor can use their social security number as their tax id number only if they have no employees and doesn't file excise or pension tax returns.  A sole proprietorship is the only business allowed to do this.  For more information refer to:

http://www.irs.gov/faqs/faq-kw82.html

 

Question:  Why do I need a Business Plan?

Answer:  A business plan is usually the starting point to getting funding for your business whether it be from a bank loan, investor, or government.  You may have your company's complete financial and business goals in your mind, but the plan allows you to  put that information on paper.  It is basically a blueprint for the success of your business, providing you the direction you want your company to go in.  To sum it up, many businesses fail, because the owners fail to plan.  

For more information about Business Plans - sba.gov

For Business Plan Software - PaloAlto

 

Question:  Do I also need a Marketing Plan?

Answer:  As like a business plan, the marketing plan is a blueprint, giving you a clear path to follow explaining how you will be generating sales and customers for the success of your business.  I recommend creating both plans at the start up of your venture.  

For more information about Marketing Plans - sba.gov

For Marketing Plan Software - PaloAlto

 

Question:  What about local permits and zoning laws?  Do they apply to me?

Answer:  That really depends upon which state you live in, and the area.  For example, I am in a rural area in Illinois, and did not need any local permits to start my business.

Click here for a list of links for each state, giving you a starting point to find the state and local information you need

 

Question:  Are there Trade Associations to help me with my business?

Answer:  Yes, absolutely!  Check out the following:

Your Local Chamber of Commerce, as well as:
SCORE
Small Business Association (SBA)
International Guild of Candle Artisans (IGCA)
National Candle Association (NCA)
National Small Business Association (NSBA)

 

Question:  Should I join my local Chamber of Commerce?  What would be the benefits of doing this?

Answer:  Joining your local Chamber of Commerce can open many doors for your business, and provide leads for you to grow your business.  For example, at one point in our lives, my husband and I operated a transportation service in Monterey, CA.

We joined the chamber of commerce, and the information received was well worth the membership fee.  We received the names and phone numbers of all hotels, restaurants, lodges, etc in the area.  We were also given a comprehensive list of all business conventions, meetings and their contacts for the year.  This information helped us market, in advance, to the businesses that were coming into town for their meeting/convention.

Memberships many times will also include members only discount programs, products and services, which could include phone, cellular, printing, and delivery services.  

 

Question:  What is SCORE and how will it help my business?

Answer:  SCORE is an nonprofit association that provides entrepreneurs with free counseling whether it be face-to-face with a consultant, or email consulting.  The volunteers are experienced active or retired entrepreneurs, corporate managers and/or executives.

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