December 1, 2011

Today's Progress

I am sitting here with a glass of wine, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Search Engine Optimization, Creating Web Pages for Dummies, Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium All-in-One for Dummies, and the sinking feeling that there was something else I was supposed to do today. The only thing that's changed since 11 o'clock this morning is the beverage. I've gone from cold coffee to wine. Oh, wait, not true, the coffee is still on sitting on my desk.

In this adventure in starting a home-based crafting business, if there are specific issues you'd like me to cover, please, leave a comment or drop me an email at Chances are I've been there or will be there soon. Any information shared here is simply what I have done in the process of business building. Of course there's other ways to do things. Probably better ways. I'm not a lawyer, accountant, bookkeeper, web designer... I'm just muddling through, determined to do it all myself.

Time to celebrate what I accomplished today. Break out the wine. I have. Besides doing dishes and the laundry (more on the distractions of working at home another time):

1. Started this blog. 
Plenty of time to make it pretty and exactly how I want it to look. I love Posy Gets Cozy. Take a look.

2. Learned how to post pictures. 
Turns out that the help menu is actually sometimes helpful. (Removing the white borders from around the pictures was a lot harder.)

Here's what I woke up to this frosty morning.

And this is what evening brought.

3. Filed paperwork to register my business name, Odd Bird Studio.
Here in Ohio you register with the Secretary of State and it costs $50.00. Click here for more info and for the form.

This is important legal stuff. If you plan to use your own name as your business name, no need to register. I've treated my art creation and exhibition process as a sole proprietorship* (more below) for over a decade. I did this under my own name. At the time, I lived in Pittsburgh. All I had to do to be legal was get a license to collect sales tax. More on this in Accomplishment #4. 

Steps taken before registering Odd Bird Studio:

a. Spent months toying with and rejecting other names.

b. For each name, checked to be sure it wasn't already in use. Did this through google searches, US patent & trademark office, and Ohio state name registration. Also made sure the URL was available.

c. Secured URL before registering name with the state of Ohio to prevent anyone else from snagging the URL and requiring me to pay a premium to use it. Went with ixWebHosting to host my future site and register my URL. They are inexpensive and highly recommended by a friend who appreciates their infinitesimal down time and super customer service. Plus, registering my domain name was free with the web hosting and they're right here in Ohio.

d. Got a post office box to use as my business address. You have to give your business address on the name registration. My home address is just that, my home. I want to keep it private. Plus, having a PO Box as my business address means I don't need to update my registration if I move house.

*Sole proprietorship is a business structure designation. It's the simplest one out there. Others include limited liability company (LLC), partnerships & corporations (inc). You can find more about business structures at:

4. Filed paperwork to get a vendor's license.

If you live in a state with sales tax (yes, there are states out there without any), you need to collect the proper sales tax on sales made within your state and pay it on a regular basis to the proper authority. Ohio has multiple types of vendor licenses. I went with a Delivery Vendor's License. Set me back $25.00. Click here for more info and for the form.

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