September 22, 2009

Red Tape

I will be the first to admit that I went kicking and screaming into legitimacy...I was so sure all that paperwork and license fees would stifle all of our fun and creativity. I just am not good with the "Red Tape".

I just want to have fun all the time and write blogs, play on facebook, and sew pretty things for little girls. Who cares if I have a tax i.d. number and why on earth would anyone want one..ugh!

But then I drifted back in from the la la land I live in and acknowledged that if we want to see the fruits of our labor hanging in a swanky boutique window or if we want to go to a trade show without riding someone else's credentials then we must surrender. Thank God for Natalie who has a natural understanding of business stuff. She is good with numbers and is not intimidated by the details or paperwork. She just gets it. I on the other hand can't seem to absorb those types of details...they just bounce right off my brain. If I am honest with myself then I guess I must admit that I probably have selective comprehension. If I don't think it is fun then I just act like I cant do it so I dont have to. Yeah I said it.

It all started with a class Natalie took at the International Textiles Expo called "The Do's and Don'ts of Starting an Apparel Business" taught by Frances Harder. Frances Harder is the founder of FBI (Fashion Business Inc.) a non-profit educational business providing intelligence and support to smaller creative apparel companies. Her books and instructional materials are available from Harder Publications. The title of the class pretty much speaks for itself and it delivered the info we needed. At the class Natalie also purchased a great set of reference materials called "Fashion for Profit" which pretty much summarized the class. Natalie was fired up and enlightened about where we needed to go next.
Before we set out and signed up for every license under the sun we sat down and discussed our goals. What were we doing this for? Did we want to stay small and cozy and sew outfits for our girlfriends or did we want to have a massive obnoxious fashion empire with sweat shops in every country.
In the end we agreed that we wanted to be able to purchase our supplies wholesale and to be able to wholesale our own products to retail boutiques. Maybe someday it would be great to design a collection and hire people to sew for us. In the end it seemed practical to apply for only the minimum credentials needed to get the ball salt on your food, its much easier to add than to take away.

In a nutshell we started at the City of Henderson and applied for our business license. They proceeded to give us a checklist that outlined the other credentials we needed to operate as a manufacturer:
Home occupation permit
State sales tax permit

From there we were directed to the requirements outlined by the state of Nevada:
Business License
Sales tax permit
We formed a simple partnership entity...and...

when all was said and done we probably spent about $300.00 in fees so that we could pay taxes. Furthermore we committed ourselves to plenty of future useless government revenue generating fees...the clerk with the State of Nevada even admitted it!
Finally, I ran across a great blog that inspired us to share our own journey...check out Amber is the owner of Baby Fabulous - a trend-setting infant and toddler apparel and accessories line. Her blog is meant to share some of her startup and business growth experiences in the hopes that it helps somebody else going through the same thing. She has years worth of experience and has documented every detail. Her selfless sharing is invaluable.