Every cigarette lover knows that making cigarettes is an art. And if you want to start a cigarette shop, you need to know the best cigarettes that’ll suit your customers. However, before you start stalking your shop with cigars and smoking pipes, there are many things you need to consider. Not only is this business age-restrictive, but it also has many rules that you must follow. Therefore, it’s best to go into the business with a knowledge of the legal implications to ensure you follow each one of them.
Here are some things you need to do before starting a smoke shop.
- Write A Business Plan And Set A Budget
Every brand owner knows that a plan is necessary to run a successful business. You need to cover various things in your plan, including what you plan to sell, your target audience, what can give you an edge over your competitors, your operational plan and marketing strategies, and how you’ll track future cash flows.
A plan will help your team to be organized and give you direction. It’ll also help you to know whether you need loans or investors. A budget is also necessary as a plan because it’ll help you start a business you can afford to finance. It’ll also tell you the right time to start a business.
- Getting A License
Because the smoking industry is heavily regulated, you need to acquire all the licenses and permits required to run your premises before starting operations. One of the main permits you need to get is the tobacco license that allows you to sell tobacco and its related products legally. You can get this from your state.
Its application is submitted with a one-time licensing fee. If it’s approved, it’ll be valid for one year, and you’ll not be able to transfer it to other businesses or locations. Therefore, if you have branches in other areas, you’ll need to have multiple licenses for every place, though you can submit the applications at once.
If you intend to sell tobacco across state lines, you also need to get a wholesaler’s license for every state you plan to sell in. All these licenses must be displayed at every location. You also need to keep invoices and receipts for tobacco products you’ve bought over the past four years. Failure to do this may make your state or government fine you.
- Register Your Business
If you already have a business name, you need to check with the local government’s registry to ensure that you don’t share it with any other person. Small businesses prefer choosing a DBA business name. That means that your business could be registered under your name but have a different DBA.
However, the DBA is what your customers will use to identify your store. As you register your business, it’s best to remember that DBAs don’t give legal protection against other companies that use the same name. Therefore, if you’re worried about copyright issues, you’ll need to visit the US Trademark and Patent Office.
Starting a smoke shop can be fun if you have a passion for cigarettes and know what customers prefer in terms of taste and flavor. However, before starting this business, you need to have a budget and a business plan, apply for licenses, and register your business.