Anyone willing to offer advice on starting up my business?

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by Nutritionist, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Nutritionist

    Nutritionist
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    Here is the run down:

    A online only business selling private label dietary supplements in Texas. The supplements are manufactured and shipped by a separate corporation in a different state. I will be using a DBA because I want to use a company name. What licenses/permits do I need? What business structure would you recommend? Also advice on liability?

    This is what I think I"ll need:


    -DBA (registered business name)

    -File to trademark business name. (For copyright protection)

    -A Federal Tax ID (EIN) if not a sole-proprietorship (SSN for SP)

    -State Tax ID (not needed because of online only structure)

    -Permits and Business license? I'm not sure. Dietary supplements are considered a food item under FDA regulations.
     
  2. shane

    shane
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    Dealing with the FDA (or better stated, meeting FDA expectations) can be a project in itself. I'd start by reading here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Industry/ucm322302.htm FDA also has outreach programs for small businesses to answer any questions you might have regarding regulatory guidance.

    In terms of liability, I would recommend having a good insurance policy to help protect you against lawsuits. I would also have a very detailed quality/supply agreement with the company manufacturing the supplements so that you can hold them liable if there are any quality issues with the products they make for you, and ensure that they also carry an adequate insurance policy. Unfortunately some people are very litigious, and a single person getting sick because of your product could shut you down if you don't insulate yourself. I would also make sure that the firm doing the manufacturing is reputable - It will be your company's name on the label so you will want to make sure that trust is not misplaced.

    Best Regards,
    Shane
     
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  3. Business Attorney

    Business Attorney
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    Although you mentioned using a DBA, first thing you need to do is decide whether you're going to have a limited liability entity such as an LLC or a corporation. Several of the items in your list seem to indicate that you have not made that decision.

    If you decide to become an LLC or a corporation, then you must file articles of organization or articles of incorporation but you do not need to file for a DBA unless you are operating under a name other than the true name of the LLC or corporation.

    You cannot trademark or copyright a business name. You may be able to trademark (but not copyright) a name which is used to identify a product or service. Sometimes that may be the same as a business name, but understand that you're not trademarking it simply because it is a business name but because it is a brand.

    As you noted, a federal tax ID number is not required for a sole proprietorship. It is also not required for an LLC which is owned by a single member and treated as a disregarded entity for federal tax purposes. A corporation, or an LLC which is taxed as a corporation or partnership, does need an EIN.

    I can't speak to the issue of a Texas state tax ID or permits and business licenses because is very so much from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
     
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  4. Choice Checks

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    If you need start up money, and have had a few sales. You can go to Kabbage and get help. Dont have to do a credit check with the bank, as Kabbage makes it easier to grow your business with capital.
     

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