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  • Register As A Business?

    So now that I've had my first litter in years and I'm working on getting a website up and running (yay!) I'm thinking about all the fun legalities involved, lol. This will always be a hobby for me and I don't see myself ever having more than 1-3 litters a year so it's not like I'm going to be making a large amount of revenue from this. With the amount of money I spend every year on my snakes I'll probably break even if I'm lucky. Most of the folks I've talked to who are small breeders like me don't register a business, they just operate as "hobbyists" which seems to have different legal meanings in different states. I'm not so much worried about the tax portion of this as I am protecting my business name, "Outworld Reptiles". I don't want to spend years building up a good reputation only for someone to steal the name from me, lol. I've started googling this to try and get more information about small business, copyrights, trade names, etc., but there is so much info out there it's going to take me a while to wrap my head around it. Since there are so many people on this forum who breed/sell snakes I was wondering what y'all do? Any info is very much appreciated : )
    “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
    www.outworldreptiles.com

  • #2
    Re: Register As A Business?

    The best way for you to protect your business name locally is to file a dba at your local courthouse, also for a specific name like that buying the domain name will be cheap so you can do that to keep others from having the opportunity. For my two businesses I have done this it is fairly inexpensive and will save you lots of headaches in the future. Also lock in the url name to all of the social media groups if you intend on using those as an outlet of sales.

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    • #3
      Re: Register As A Business?

      The problem with registering as a business/DBA is that now your local and state governments will treat you as a business, so you're on the hook for everything that a business does, including collecting and remitting sales taxes, any local tax filings (I have to do an annual "personal property" filing with my county for my home business, which is a time-consuming PITA, so the county can collect about ten bucks a year), doing a Sched C on your income taxes, etc.

      If all you want to do is protect the name of your hobby you can trademark it under your own name, reserve the web site URL's, get the FB page, etc.

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      • #4
        Re: Register As A Business?

        Since you are using a business name, they just might come after you for taxes at some point. I agree with bcr_229 that can be a PITA. But there are pro's & con's: I used to breed a few kinds of snakes as a hobby, but
        I ended up breeding so many rodents to feed them all that it became a rodent-business with a "side of c/b snakes". Concurrently I had to document the rosy boas I bred anyway (per F&G laws in CA) so it made sense for me
        to call it a business for those years. Documenting your expenses is a pain, but it's a tax write-off. If your "business" NEVER makes money, the tax ppl may get nosy about those deductions, but I did make money for most
        years, & by having a documented small home business, I didn't have to worry about them coming after me later, thinking I made more than I really did. Your expenses may offset much of the profit & might even give you a
        tax break.

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        • #5
          Re: Register As A Business?

          Thanks everyone! I'm definitely going to trademark the name and I'm going to do more research into registering a DBA. From everything I've read so far I can register the DBA and since I'll be a sole proprietorship I can still file everything under my taxes, I'll just have to include some extra forms like Shed C. That will be fun. The main PITA I see is the sales tax, I'll either have to tack that on to my sales (which it seems like no one in the reptile industry does) or just pay the sales tax out of my own pocket.
          “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
          www.outworldreptiles.com

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          • #6
            Re: Register As A Business?

            Just remember that many things count as expenses & keep good track, including vet bills, disinfectant, paper towels (for cage cleaning or substrate), substrate, food and so on. They really add up.
            Once you keep records of income & expenses, schedule C is no big deal, IMO. If you don't already, you should use a numbered receipt book for all sales.

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            • #7
              Re: Register As A Business?

              Yeah but the good thing about doing that is the over head is not huge (not including assets such as enclosures, thermostats, and the such) the small percentage of taxes won't be horrible to pay with the amount of profit possible.

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              • #8
                Re: Register As A Business?

                Luckily I order basically everything online so it's easy to track invoices/receipts, now I'll just start storing them all in a folder locally and online so I can access them easily. The organizational nerd in me is actually looking forward to this.
                “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
                www.outworldreptiles.com

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                • #9
                  Re: Register As A Business?

                  And who knows? you might change your mind & do well as a business? At least you'll be able to make an informed decision if that happens.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Register As A Business?

                    There are so many tax write-off's in this hobby . Since I also raise rodents and rabbits , all of their supplies count as well (shavings, food, partial water bill, caging supplies. Also including the power bill in my home since my reptile room is a bedroom , and most of my out-of-town vacations either include a reptile show, or some type of venue that includes reptiles - so airfare, hotels, gas . . . . etc
                    .
                    In my heart, it is a hobby . But for the sake of taxes, it is a business.

                    I have to do an annual "personal property" filing with my county for my home business, which is a time-consuming PITA, so the county can collect about ten bucks a year
                    .
                    I've never had to do anything like that -- and I'm not about to look into it either.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Register As A Business?

                      Originally posted by Morgans Boas View Post
                      ....I've never had to do anything like that -- and I'm not about to look into it either.
                      Ditto....different states, counties, & city regs I guess?

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