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9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 17, 2008 9:50 AM by grantsforce RSS

Donations only business

loadsoflove Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
Hi .... I'm a "newbie".... I have a question or questions....The business economy in my area is really slow and this is one of the reasons I am considering this venture. I want to open a resale or thrift shop by donations only. I have been to the big chain donation centers, everything they have is donated, however, they price their clothing and furniture way too high for underprivileged consumers. Would the resale shop I open be subject to sales tax or other taxes? I am trying to find a good location, I am even concidering the old WalMart building.
  • Re: Donations only business
    LUCKIEST Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    Many questions?? The more you share, the better we can help you succeed.
    How soon do you plan on starting this venture??
    Do you have a BUSINESS PLAN?? A BUDGET??
    Is this going to be FOR PROFIT??
    Do you have the FUNDS??, AN Accountant??, Lawyer??
    Good luck, LUCKIEST
    • Re: Donations only business
      loadsoflove Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Thank you so much for your reply. I am considering, hopefully opening after the 1st of the year. Have you by any chance heard about the guy who traded one red paperclip up to a house? I would like to see if I could do something creative like that. I originally wanted to raise money thru emails, and everyone that donated send me their name, address and phone # (those that wanted to participate) and for the donation they make "money wise" I would keep in contact with that group of what you might say "investors" and when I am good and going, if they wanted me to send them back their donation I could. It's a different twist and I am still working it out in my head. I do have a good friend that could answer all the legalities of whether I could go "non-profit". I would need money of course to keep the business open and a salary for myself (which I have set) and what is left over at that point, I want to make avaiable gift donations for food at one our local groceries, gas at one of local stations. There are several different ares that people need help with. I don't want to limit anything. I would have an application for them to be approved for the money. I do have a plan, I do have a budget and I'm still tweaking. Thank you again for your reply
      Pam
  • Re: Donations only business
    Ed O'Gee Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated
    First of all welcome - this is a great place to connect.

    The short answer is that you'll have to pay sales tax. The big boys you speak of, Goodwill Salvation Army, etc. are set up as non profits. The money made from their thrift stores goes to support other programs that are for the greater good. Now if your goal is to do that, then I'd suggest talking to an accountant that can help you establish a 501(c) but if you are looking to do a straight for profit business, know you'll have to have customers pay the sales tax applicable for your state and you in turn will be responsible for turning over that money.
  • Re: Donations only business
    Lighthouse24 Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    Yes, unless you're a qualified non-profit, you'd have to collect and pay sales taxes.
  • Re: Donations only business
    Score133 Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Starting any new venture is costly. I'm concerned that you are considering a Wal-Mart facility. Typically those stores are huge. Have you considered what it will cost you to cool/heat the facility? How much the insurance will cost on a place that size? The maintenance effort alone could make it cost-prohibitive. Think carefully about your start-up expenses on this venture. Also, your business plan should have an excellent and aggressive marketing effort. People like to donate clothes and other household articles, but only if they receive a tax break. In order to do that, you'll absolutely have to follow the advice about setting up a 501(c)(3). First incorporate as a not-for-profit (your state probably has a website to allow you to do it inexpensively online) and then contact the IRS. You'll have to fill out a bunch of paperwork, just pay attention to the details of the questions (your business plan will contain more of the information they require). Good luck!!!
  • Re: Donations only business
    humbleforlife Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Your heart seems to be in the right place. But becoming non profit is not as easy as people make it sound.IRS takes forever approving applications,and many are rejected.This site has a good amount of info on doing it your self http://form1023help.com/_wsn/page2.html, but I recommend a lawyer or company that does this and receives high results.IRS was taking up to eight months to review apps,last time I checked.New tax laws came into effect on Feb 4, and many non profits are under scrutiny.

    *bq. bq. bq. bq. Pros & Cons of * \\ ** 5*<br /<tableborder="1" class="jive-wiki-table">

    |_501(c)(3) Organizations Enjoy the Following Privileges:_ \\ Exemption from Federal Income Tax \\ Exemption from F.U.T.A. (federal unemployment tax) \\ Tax Deductibility for Donors \\ Eligible for Government & Foundation Grants \\ Eligible for Bulk Mailing Permit \\ Gambling Permits (in some jurisdictions) \\ Credibility \\ 501(c)(3) Organizations Must Fulfill the Following Responsibilities: \\ Keep Adequate Records \\ File Required Returns \\ Provide Donor Substantiation \\ Obey Disclosure Laws \\ Generate Public Support \\ Avoid "Excess Benefits" for insiders \\ Shun Political Activity \\ Limit Legislative Activity \\ Limit Unrelated Business Activity|You also are competing against United Way , Salvation Army and churches.They are well known in the community.You are going to have to have a big pr plan in order to receive donations.And you may not be well received. Good luck
  • Re: Donations only business
    grantsforce Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    loadsoflove - Your statement "The business economy in my area is really slow and this is one of the reasons I am considering this venture" is something that seems to define the direction of your venture.
    Presuming that you have gone through the basics of
    1. Identifying your ares of interest (that will become the focus of your venture)
    2. Definition of your personal goals, and plan for your personal life (generally a non-profit venture originates out of personal social goals).
    This may be:
    1. A True Non-Profit (Charitable) Venture,
    2. A desire to create a Non-Profit Venture for Personal Gain (By way of Salaries, etc)
    3. A desire to have a Profitable venture but you have a fear of
    a) competition for the market
    b) competition for Funding
    c) fear of failure in business.
    These are all stages that are common with several people that intend to go into business for the first time. If you are not in this stage or have passed this stage good luck to you in your venture.
    If you are still hovering around goals & Purpose and you wish to talk please feel free to contact me.

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