well techinically we have 14 day from the first sale to register as a business. Registration cost $25 here (yearly), registering a fictitious name will be $40. I can have the fictious name published for free. So we'll need to make $65 yearly to break even. Are we ready for it yet?
I, for one, would be very excited if Degicank finally had some sort of product line to go with; I truly feel that we are not ready yet for brand realization. What would we have to offer? The only I can think of are Planet 22 T-Shirts (controlled by the Philadelphia Degicank headquarters staff). The Econocank and Back to School Specials are worthwhile product with an unpolished finish to them; let's not have some sort of half assed, half guessed idea be the forefront of our intial global offering.
I think those of us at Degicank who have great ideas have a hard time bringing them into a feasable, functional and profitable light. It's great to get the word out but what do we have to tell people about? What do we have that they would want to be a part of? Who, if any, should take the first step into our world of Degicank?
Let's remain focused here; how can Degicank help itself and others to the rewards that await us? I for one don't want to take the wrong approach to the right idea. Our time is gonna come; we have to decide weather we're going to make the most out of it or not.
Hi there Bill. Here is the standard checklist for licensing in SF:
1)Fictitious Business Name: County Clerk's Office City Hall, Suite 168 1 Dr. Carlton Goodlet Place 415-554-4950
2)Business License: Tax Collector City Hall, #140 415-554-4400
3)Zoning: 1660 Mission St. 1st Floor 415-558-6377
4)Worker's Compensation: State Compensation Insurance Fund 303 2nd Street Suite 600 South 415-974-8100
5)Incorporation: Secretary of State 1500 11th Street Sacramento, CA. 95814 916-653-6814
6)Federal Witholding Taxes: IRS 800-829-1040
7)State Withholding Taxes: Employment Development Department 888-745-3886
8)Employer ID Number: IRS 800-829-1040
9)Seller's Permit: State Board of Equalization 121 Spear St. Suite 460 415-356-6600
It's a pain in the neck to know just what you need for your particular business. I found that it was very helpful to hook up with the Bay Area SBA (Small Business Association). They put you with a counselor who meets with you one on one and tells you everything you need to do. It sucks but the getting busted can suck even harder. Check out sba.gov to find where they are in SF. You may have to come to their Oakland office.
Make sure when you are creating your break even analysis that you figure in your cost of goods sold, labor (it can be good to get paid for your time), overhead (the permits, facility costs, shipping).
Everything else is just profit to expand the degibusiness. Wouldn't it be nice to create a revenue stream that would allow for the production of large events in the bay area? The event revenue could then be funneled back into the mix for more events, research and development, etc. And it would just go from there.
Sounds like it might be useful to write down a plan for your structure and have someone look it over for mistakes. I learned the hard way about making planning mistakes.
You never know, once you have this set up for the degi product line you may have some light bulbs go off about other things you can use your structure for. Remember, Amazon.com started in the guy's garage. Not that Amazon.com is the way to go but still, out of a garage.
Likely you'll just need the seller's permit, business license, registered ficticious business name. Once you get the seller's permit you automatically get signed onto the tax thing. They give you a class and you start filing either quarterly or monthly. If you sell nothing you pay nothing, easy to do. Anything beyond that for ecommerce I don't know.
I do know a few people who do everything off the radar. Taking into consideration the gov's main concern is getting tax dollars from sales going under the radar isn't as bad as the name denotes. Tax dollars going to those cluster bombs still exploding in Lebanon...yep, 3 billion a year of American tax dollars to Israel. Makes you think about that homeless guy and gas prices in CA?
Anyway, I know a few folks, one doing about .5 mil in sales per year all under the radar. The key to this is leaving no traces, no wholesale accounts, no internet sites, etc.
No need to go through the process if you just want to sell some stuff to friends.
nice research Ben. I didn't know that CA has different SBA offices around the state. When i was in Laguna Beach i would go to the Library and read all about the SBA and obtaining monies from them. They generally like to see a bank sponsor a person for guidance Via the SBA but this is from info over seven years old now; i hope things have changed. being sponsered by a bank simply means that you've attempted the conventional method of applying for a bank loan and have been turned down. hopefully you have a good repore with your loan officer as he could file the proper paper work to the SBA based on your turned down business plan and forecasts.
How's the Pizza market prospects in Berkeley? I hear and Organic; wholesome shop is just what the bay area needs.
Organic Pizza would be a smash here in the Bay Area. I think more so in the East Bay. A lot of the Organic efforts in SF are starting to get swallowed up by the sheer size of the city. Location key in SF but in the East Bay destination locations are still working out very well for the "green" oriented folks.
I did a little r&d for an organic pizza restaurant in Berkeley. Comfortable start up funding at 340K with the "sheer will" start up landing around 100K. Most of the time however good things happen to good people with organic intentions here in the bay area.
The SBA: The SBA here in the East Bay is coupled with the OBDC (Oakland Business Development Center). Good thing about that is more chances for funding. If planning and credit are good anyone shouldn't have a problem getting their cash. A good friend of mine got 800K about half a year ago to put together his kitchen facility. Pretty sweet place, I was there today.
The SBA and OBDC in the Bay Area are great because they take people from wherever they are and optimize their chances of getting organized and funded. The counselor I saw got a 20 page business plan out of me but in the end my credit was so bad nothing at all was available, not even the "bad credit scholarships". The counselors actually know many of the loan officers in the area. They work together because if a good one comes into the office they both benefit.
If you have bad credit: The great thing about business loans is after you have been in business in any way shape or form and demonstrate you can do something, financial institutions won't judge based on credit if you decide to go for another related venture. Meaning, if you run a lunch delivery program and your P&L's look nice with steady margins you can go for cafe or restaurant funding no problem. If you had a cafe and want to do a sailing school there might be a problem. I thought that was cool being one with crappy credit.
So, if the credit is bad and you still have a hot mega plan i.e. organic pizza shop, start something easy and small (my catering start up cost $3000), run it well for a year or so, then take your financial statements to the SBA / OBDC.
On Organic Pizza Restaurant: There are less than 20 in the USA right now that I know of. I think an organic and sustainable pizza shop would fly. Meaning, organic and local produce used on the pies, bio materials / utensils, adherance to the Bay Area Green Business programs guidelines. The problem I was finding, but didn't have a chance to fully explore, was how to not sell a slice of pizza for $4. But I looked at the good location pizza restaurants in town who are selling convention slices for about $3 and thought the problem may be easier to overcome than thought.
Bottom line on the OG pizza: Being a vet of Peace a Pizza, I know good pies. There is nothing of that quality here in the Bay Area that I have seen. Surely in the East Bay none, not sure about SF. It would be a freakin hit. I did r&d on it because I thought I was going to get funded by Clif Bar Inc. in exchange for a cafe I was to put into their facility. As things do in business, it fell through.
Even if there is no chance in heaven for funding it is worth having a super solid plan with all the numbers and diagrams ready to go. You never know when you'll run into that friend with cash who says casually on the street, "I want to do a pizza restaurant with you". It's happened to me twice regarding organic cafes. I'm rolling on it. I would have loved to have a plan ready when they asked. Luckily, they'll wait.
Careful planning. I have suffered greatly this year and taken huge hits both personally and financially because of flawed planning. When you start screwing up with high dollar amounts things get intense. I've had people in tears and I been in tears myself. The plan is the ship to sail you through. Sure, raw in the moment experience is great but better to use your knack for "in the moment" finesse for the minor things. I thought on one hand that I would be able to maintain the structure and adjust day to day. What I found was that so many things come up day to day that the structure has to already be 100% sound and running without attention to it in order to put out the fires that arise.
I also found that many business folks aren't willing to divulge their patterns and methods. Even the SBA counselors. Read and read and rememeber what you did on the job at a related place. Many folks when knowing they are going to go into business actually go back out into the workforce and watch with an eagle eye for methods, structures, etc. Usually asking the manager, "hey, what do you do everyday" is easier than asking the owner, "what are your secrets"? I did this, it works great. Peter, Joe, and Aaron from Peace a Pizza did it for 3 years with some guy in Mass.
Two valuable quotes on the above, "a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step", "there are more people out there with money than people with the skills to start these things up".
Just went to a 6 hour tax seminar for small business owners today in monterey; it was worse than accounting class in pig latin. got tons of great info from the employment education department (EED) and the IRS (mean sons-of-bitches). anyone interested in viewing these documents can access most online via www.irs.gov and .... some other website i will post soon.
My twin is about two hours away from my door; Big trip to the bay area and big sur tomorrow and he will continue on to LA. Don't forget the bash this saturday 9-23-06; live music, heffe on tap and (as of the last ten days) beautiful pristine sunny skies and unbelievable surf. Come one come all 2901 17 mile drive