Part 4. Do the paperwork
In the interest of full disclosure, I have a tax accountant who assists me in filing for my business every year.
I file my business “DBA” or “Doing business as” and have a separate bank account for my business expenses under my business name. Do not use a personal account for business, and do not use a business account for personal expenses. The linked article states to take a salary every two weeks! I love this article-it's for businesses that are established, so be sure you understand the basic principle that the two (business and personal finance) do not mix.
In order to know what you will need to do, first research your state requirements on how to register as a business. You will find a lot of information about getting a tax ID number here, and it will also advise you to search by state. Once you have this number, you will start to pay taxes on your income from your business as well as be eligible for wholesale accounts with your suppliers. This is a crucial step into paper floristry as a sustainable income. Your ability to purchase supplies wholesale directly affects your bottom line as a creator. So, don’t be afraid! Here is what you need to do in order to get started.
- Research your state’s rules regarding getting a state tax ID and registering your business
- Create any applicable accounts with your state bureau of taxation so you can pay your taxes online
- With your new employer identification number you can register for wholesale accounts with different types of suppliers
- Create a separate bank account just for your paper flower business
Don’t let getting a tax ID intimidate you at all. Each state is different in its laws. I registered as a florist in the state of Maine and pay taxes quarterly. This is part of being a paper florist: treating your work as a real business and benefitting from that!
You should already be saving your receipts for your purchases of your supplies. Anything you use for your business is now worthy of examination for tax purposes. My camera, lenses, laptop, cell phone and internet are all in support of my business. Good habits make for clean accounting, so save your receipts, and re-invest in your business.
I know that right now your burning question is: which wholesalers can I work with? And that’s what I will talk about next.
My journey to creating a business from my paper flowers took time, and sharing exactly how I did it is my gift to you. Be sure to modify and adapt this plan to work for you. It may come as a surprise, but I purchased very little paper at the beginning of my business and only now purchase paper after an order has been paid for. I do not have room to keep a stockpile of supplies. It was only after I started creating online courses that I saw large-scale paper purchasing as a needed expense. With that in my head for perspective, I began setting up wholesale accounts almost immediately after getting my state tax ID, but not with paper suppliers. I had other things I wanted to source first.