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    0 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2012 10:26 PM by Distributary

    Starting a distribution business

    Distributary Newbie

      Hey all, I just signed up for this because I am looking all over the place for as much information as I can possibly find regarding distribution. I am looking to start up my own business in the aforementioned distribution trade, and I will be starting from absolute scratch. I previously worked for a guy here in Rhode Island who was essentially a one man show and listed as an LLC. He was the boss, but he paid myself and two other people and hourly wage under the giuse of "independent contractor" to help distribute his products throughout MA, CT, and RI. Sugar wafer cookies, bread, pastries, and tortilla wraps where the items. Two used and unmarked of anykind box trucks, 16' and 20' in measure, where the workhorses accompanied by the sugar wafer cookies brand named van. Rented some single dock warehouse space fairly small with an external refrigerator next door. Now, I no longer work for him, but I am considering doing what he did. His products were sent to him from all over and dropped off at this warehouse location he paid rent for, because of the shear volume of his somewhat slim selection. Quite a few stores and accounts to service, local and regional markets, Wal-Marts, BJ's, convenience stores, etc. The kicker is I don't have a box truck or a warehouse. However, in talking to him for the period of time I worked there, he stated that he started the whole thing with just the one account of the sugar wafer cookies and a van delivering the product out of his garage. A few questions regarding this and all other aspects of the process: Could I LEGALLY obtain a small account, order products to my residence, store the product in my residence, and distribute with an everyday non-specialized vehicle? The product I would like to distribute would be non-dairy frozen and refrigerated novelties that have little presence in the current markets near me(Rhode Island). I am in the very beginning stages of everything. I have contacted the company's head quarters out on the west coast, they took my information and passed it along to "other distribution channels in my market region" and I am just waiting to from that office now. I could get the funding together for a refrigerated truck, and even a very small refrigerated warehouse location, but I would like to know if I could order the product to my residence and keep it in a large dedicated freezer. This may sound odd and I realize that. Do keep in mind that it is uncharted waters for me from the business end. But that would save a lot of money, and although it may be within reach it would be quite the financial burden. Outside of more specialty oriented markets like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's(there's only two Whole Foods in the state and one lone Trader Joe's all considerably distanced from each other) there isn't much of a presence in other locations. Especially stores local to the state. There are a few stores with an even lesser selection than the likes of a regional supermarket, and those are diminutive enough themselves. Part of this idea is I like the product and would like to see more of it around the state and more of a selection in places where it is carried. This was the impetus. It only has been recently that this company has established a presence in the area, so it being still in the beginning stages of reputation and exposure I figured it might be a smart idea to try to get in on this. I know this post is kind of long-winded but I'm just trying to explain the facets that I know of and the area I would like some input on. Legal and official documentation and the processes therein are what I know nothing about. How do I start this up? Can I just go the city, the state and fill out some forms for some relatively low amount of money? Do I need to hire a lawyer? What type of insurance do I need? Do I need a DOT physical to buy a small refrigerated box truck or large refrigerated van? Not to sound demanding, but I'm not really looking for anwers like "go to this website", or "read this article" or "talk to the SBA, etc.". Just looking for rather specific answers if anybody would be willing to provide them. In any event thank you for your time and consideration.