Friday, July 2, 2010

"Becoming Legal--All's Well That Ends Well"

Jackie Wampler
So I went to the Missouri Tax Office yesterday and waited about five minutes before a very nice lady came out and directed us into her office. I got the Mo Sales Tax Identification Number that I needed--and it only took three separate trips to this tax office to accomplish this--not bad in terms of time spent. But there are other wonderful things that happened, too, that I want to tell you.

There were a lot of forms that were handed over to me and explained to me as well:

1. Certificate of No Tax Due--which simply means we don't owe any sales tax at this moment. Good to know.

2. Sales Tax Return Form--I found out after paying our cash bond (everybody gets to do this in some form) that I would be filing quarterly reports for sales we make and sending them the tax money we collected. But only for sales made from Mo residents. The lady showed me how to figure sales taxes so I would pay the correct amount to the state.

3. MO Department of Revenue tax chart-This chart does all the work for figuring taxes at my tax rate. What a helpful chart.

4. Missouri Retail Sales License-which is the form which has my Missouri Tax Identification Number on it. You'll be surprised how many different forms need this number.

5. Sales/Use Tax Exemption Certificate-One of the best forms she gave me was this form whereby our business doesn't have to pay sales tax on supplies that we use in the making of our products. Like the paper and ink/toner for the paper dolls. That's nice. But it is only on supplies that we use up in the making of our products that are an actual part of our product. That tax we don't have to pay but the rest of any sales taxes on like a new computer or a printer (things that stay with the business instead of being used up to make our product) are not exempt. So there are some restrictions for the use of the tax exempt form. Also, the suppliers with which you do business, will need a copy of your Missouri Retail Sales License as well as a copy of this form. So make a lot of copies of both forms.

Today I just go down and pay our $25 and get our county license. The paperwork is all done and I have the check for $25 attached and after talking with the lady there yesterday, she assured me that I should get our license today!

I've got all the paper work for the city now except for Megan's signature so I will need to fax her that sheet, have her sign and print her name, date it, and fax it back to me. Since Megan isn't down here to show her identification, City Hall is going to take a copy of our fictitious name form instead. The city may also need our Mo Retail Sales License according to the nice lady at the Mo Tax office. So that is attached to this application as well. Even though the zoning committee at city hall has to approve our license, it shouldn't take more than a few days. When we get that license, we will be totally legal. Yea for us.

From Friday to Friday is the length of time it took me to get all the paper work done and back to the correct offices. All in all the lady who helped me at the Mo Tax Office yesterday was by far the most helpful. She gave me more knowledge and explained the various procedures that I would need to use to fulfill our obligation for Missouri sales taxes in terms that I could understand. She answered questions very well and with kindness. Kindness is not something you can expect in a week of "getting legal" with forms so if you encounter it, well, consider it a bonus.

Doing all the paperwork to get your business legal can be a little bit of a hassle. Remember you are responsible for doing all the paper work to get your business legal and the state of Missouri definitely requires that you be legal. All in all the people I dealt with were good at their jobs. Only one person was overbearing but quite helpful on the other hand. So go into this procedure knowing it can be a little frustrating, very time-consuming--not so much to write in the answers on the forms but to find out the correct answers to write. Since it is something you have to do for the state of Missouri to get your business legal, enjoy it as much as possible. Don't forget to take good notes and keep good records of this week. It is one of your most important weeks! The end reward is that, yea, your business is now legal.

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