The business end of house call grooming
I am new here but not new to grooming. I have been professionally grooming for almost 9 years and have worked in many different fields of grooming including owning my own shop, which I closed to re-locate to NC. I am currently working in the corporate grooming field which is a horrible fit for me. I am planning leaving this job to give full-time house-call grooming a go! I dabbled in house-call grooming several years ago as a side job to grooming part time at a kennel and loved it! I think I would love to give running a full-time house-call business a try. I may phase into a mobile business with a van down the road but if this works out without having to go traditionally mobile I would be thrilled. The questions I have is mainly about the business aspects of this. Licensing, permits, taxes. The non-fun legal end of it lol. I know it varies greatly state from state and in different counties/cities and have been in contact with my County but am frankly getting a mish-mash of answers from them. I would love to hear what different house-call groomers have had to do to be in compliance with their local rules and ordinances. If anyone has North Carolina experience even better! I'm fairly certain I require a business license for each city I service as that is what I've been told. But not a county license. I can't get an answer about whether or not a state business license is required. Also I've heard that house call groomers can't be licensed because they are an individual and not a facility? What do you put on the application for your business address? what if it is different then the city you are servicing? Are your taxes fairly simple to keep track of yourself or do you hire someone to do it for you? Are there other permits, licensing or tax requirements you have had to comply with? I'd love to hear your experiences with this! I figure the more knowledge I gain the better. Opening my Salon was much simpler as where I lived (very rural) I practically required nothing lol.
This may help. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...-carolina.html
I made a free appointment with a Small Business Administration (SBA) counselor when I started. I found them online. There was an office at a local college. The counselor gave me simple, practical advice on what I needed to do.
I do house call in NYC. I'm doing my own taxes.
NYC requires house call groomers to charge sales tax, so I pay that every few months.
I'm a sole proprietor. I have a DBA (doing business as). That's the only form I needed to fill out.
It's not complicated. If I were you, I'd just get started doing house calls, then do the research and file the forms as you go. It will take time for you to get clients and to get used to working in people's homes, so get going on that. Believe me, during your first few months you will have plenty of time to do research.
Thanks so much for the info. I feel uncomfortable offering services under the table though. I don't want to run the risk of getting caught and fined. I've heard alot of horror stories from other groomers lol.
Whoa, hold on there. Under the table" means that you're not declaring income. Where did I say you should avoid declaring income? All I'm saying is take baby steps. You're not starting IBM or General Electric. You're looking into starting a one-person house call service. Your first month, you may make so little money that you are lucky to pay your expenses. It can take a while. So unless you are subsidized by a partner or a parent, I would start working and then while I'm working, deal with the paperwork during the slow days. The paper work is minimal. I filled out one form and paid $120 to get my business license. During the slow days, you can also make your appointment with SBA counselors and do research online. Good luck. It's MUCH easier than you think.
Originally Posted by skylarkdane