I thought it might be fun to document my journey in turning my hobby of crocheting dolls into a business. I tried reading guides and other blog posts on the subject, but I felt they were lacking with more information. Telling people to “Just do it!” is great, but if you don’t tell them the little details of doing it it’s just a cheerleader rather than a coach on the sideline.
One great bit of information I found here from Inc. It actually lined out exactly what I needed to do. A few of these things will have to wait until Monday since I’m a night owl, but I was able to start on quite a few to get the ball rolling. And that is really all I needed to do. I needed to stop thinking about doing it and get the ball rolling. From that post it gives me a nice checklist to start. I’ll cover a few things from the list below.
First, stop getting hung up on a business name.
Part of my over researching, over thinking self was concerned about changing my name from ArtisticGaming to something more akin to general crochet. ArtisticGaming has been my name for years and years. This is what my audience knows me as. It may, however, turn off a certain demographic of crocheters that are not interested in video games or geeky items. They may assume that is all that I offer and turn away without a second thought. Thanks to this snippet of advice I’m going to stop worrying about it. I can always do business under a different name. Not only that, but I can also create a subsection for general crochet items under a different name while still retaining my brand. Check.
Second, get your Employee Identification Number (EIN).
This was the simplest step. It only took a couple minutes and it was completely free. My first official business document printed out and filed. Since I plan on being an LLC getting an EIN was needed. Check.
Third, register a trade name.
Fourth, get your business license.
I need to send off my LLC registration with my Secretary of State first. I have the paperwork all filled out and ready to be dropped off in the mailbox. I also have my business license filled out and ready to go as well as soon as everything with the LLC is taken care of. So.. technically. Check.
Fifth, open a business account and set up a simple accounting spreadsheet.
Since I already have my EIN I think I could go ahead and open a business account while waiting on all my other paperwork to go through. Getting this out of the way as soon as possible is a priority to keep things tidy for the IRS. Other than that, my accounting spreadsheet is up, ready to go, and very baron. Almost Check.
Sixth, stop being afraid. Ok this one is from my own personal list.
Everything else just relies on waiting for approval and paperwork to come back. I tried looking into those websites that easily set up this stuff for you for a rather huge fee. I mean, we’re all paranoid about starting up right? It’s nice having a hand hold through the process if only for the ease of mind. After looking though I was noticing they were charging $35-$50 to set up your EIN. Something that took a couple minutes and was completely free. My jaw dropped. I went through a step by step process on each site to see what information they needed from me to set up my LLC. Other than asking for my address they needed nothing else. It finally made everything click that setting up a business is EASY. It’s so easy that it makes you ask “What’s the catch?” And it’s because of this that those sites make $200-$500 off of people.
We’re paranoid. We’re worried because it can’t be that easy. Every state is different and every county/city will have different permits and requirements, but they aren’t out to get you. They aren’t trying to keep you from becoming a business. So get to it! Don’t worry I’m over here freaking out too.