Start a Retail Business in Wisconsin in 3 Steps
When you have ideas of starting a retail business, you dream of the storefront, what you’ll sell, and how much you’ll charge for it. The last thing on your mind is the first thing you have to accomplish. That is letting your State and Federal Government know that you are doing this. There are three things you must do for this to happen. You need to incorporate your business, you need to set up a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), and lastly, you need to get a sellers permit.
You are incorporating your business for a couple of reasons. Each business name has to be unique, and one way to protect the name of your business is by incorporating. You are creating a living, breathing (okay, well maybe not breathing) entity that will limit your liability to the extent of what you put into that entity. There are exceptions to that rule, such as committing fraud, but the general rule is, when you incorporate, you are protecting your personal assets. To incorporate, this will cost you $170 or $130 if you file online.
You have to go to the Federal Government on this one, specifically the Internal Revenue Service. You can apply online, and it is free of charge. This is an important number, as you will need it to create a bank account in the company name. You will also need this for income tax purposes. You can theoretically apply for this tax number before you incorporate in the State of Wisconsin, but I would recommend against that, just in case there is trouble with incorporating and you need to use a different name. It will create an administrative mess trying to correct the information associated with your FEIN.
You will need your business to be incorporated, and have a FEIN associated with the business before you can apply for a Business Tax Number in the State of Wisconsin. This costs $20, and it sets you up to pay sales tax to the State of Wisconsin.
Now that you have that out of the way, all you have to do is run your business. I’m sorry but I have to plug it. A good CPA will make starting and running your business painless! Good luck!