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  • Using a mobile trailer as a stationary shop

    Hello to all, new to the forum as a member but I’ve been haunting for many years. My husband and I have decided to begin looking into opening a groom shop for myself. I originally thought mobile with a van, but I have reservations about that mostly because of the cost of the vans themselves.
    I’d like to buy a mobile grooming trailer and have it parked at a friend of the family’s boarding/training kennel with a “now offering dog grooming by blah blah”. This would be my business but I’d have the trailer kept near permanently on the kennel property unless I chose to take it mobile to select houses. The kennel is in an AG zone so I doubt there would be a problem placing it there but how would I classify it for business, tax, and insurance purposes since it won’t be truly mobile? If I kept it there does it make sense for the owner to charge me a rent or storage fee? If so, how do I handle that expense since it is technically a mobile business even if I’m not intending to use it as a mobile business 90% of the time? Has anyone done this successfully and legally?

    This is an idea I’ve been thinking about and I want to hash out details and legal while I go on maternity leave with hopes to begin solidifying by the end of 2023. Any help or advice is appreciated.

  • #2
    I would think this is very specific to your tax laws, in Canada you can write off business expenses or a percentage of them, more so if you are incorporated and not sole proprietor. The cost of rent for using that space would be no different than shop rent. Or a booth in a mall. Ask your accountant.

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    • #3
      ItzaClip! I have a whole list of legal questions I’ll be asking accountants and such to make sure this is correct. Mostly just seeing if anyone has done this and how. Thank you for replying.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mbrucekelsey View Post
        Hello to all, new to the forum as a member but I’ve been haunting for many years. My husband and I have decided to begin looking into opening a groom shop for myself. I originally thought mobile with a van, but I have reservations about that mostly because of the cost of the vans themselves.
        I’d like to buy a mobile grooming trailer and have it parked at a friend of the family’s boarding/training kennel with a “now offering dog grooming by blah blah”. This would be my business but I’d have the trailer kept near permanently on the kennel property unless I chose to take it mobile to select houses. The kennel is in an AG zone so I doubt there would be a problem placing it there but how would I classify it for business, tax, and insurance purposes since it won’t be truly mobile? If I kept it there does it make sense for the owner to charge me a rent or storage fee? If so, how do I handle that expense since it is technically a mobile business even if I’m not intending to use it as a mobile business 90% of the time? Has anyone done this successfully and legally?

        This is an idea I’ve been thinking about and I want to hash out details and legal while I go on maternity leave with hopes to begin solidifying by the end of 2023. Any help or advice is appreciated.
        It is not a mobile business just because it is in mobile structure. It is a grooming business whether mobile or not. After operating expenses the owner pays income tax etc on the net operating income. Same for shop or mobile.

        It is up to the property owner if they want to charge you rent or not, paying at least a small amount monthly makes it more clear you are renting the space so to speak, and you can move it if you want. That is a rental expense, that's all. You just write the expense of the rent off. Simple. You don't have to meet some rules for mobile vs non mobile, what matters is you are declaring your income and paying your bills.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by violet2 View Post

          It is not a mobile business just because it is in mobile structure. It is a grooming business whether mobile or not. After operating expenses the owner pays income tax etc on the net operating income. Same for shop or mobile.

          It is up to the property owner if they want to charge you rent or not, paying at least a small amount monthly makes it more clear you are renting the space so to speak, and you can move it if you want. That is a rental expense, that's all. You just write the expense of the rent off. Simple. You don't have to meet some rules for mobile vs non mobile, what matters is you are declaring your income and paying your bills.
          This helped clear things up a lot! Thank you. I’m not sure why I was so worried or hung up on definitions but I was. I’ve been grooming for others for years and I know how shops run but I’m starting the steps on how to have my own business and which will work best for me with a new baby. I’ve got a lot of leg and homework to do but for some reason that one aspect had me stuck.

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          • #6
            I think this is a fabulous idea! I am planning on doing this when I no longer want to run the shop. 2 days a week, 5 or 6 dogs a day and I'll be happy! My house and vehicles are paid for, hubby has a retiree pension and SS income, so that will give me "play money". Good luck!
            <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Particentral View Post
              I think this is a fabulous idea! I am planning on doing this when I no longer want to run the shop. 2 days a week, 5 or 6 dogs a day and I'll be happy! My house and vehicles are paid for, hubby has a retiree pension and SS income, so that will give me "play money". Good luck!
              That is wonderful! This idea came to me when my husband and I were trying to figure out how to do childcare after I can go back to work. I am taking unpaid time off because I’m self employed but daycare is soooo expensive that the only place I could feasibly go would be my Mom. She manages the kennel and the owner of the kennel is a friend so it seems like a good business arrangement. I figured if we moved or finally bought property I could then just take the business with us too.

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              • #8
                Just add this here but I had a friend recently tell me the trailer she uses for her shop on her land was blown over during a thunderstorm and it rolled over a couple times. I suppose she is tying it down after fixing it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 10muddypaws View Post
                  Just add this here but I had a friend recently tell me the trailer she uses for her shop on her land was blown over during a thunderstorm and it rolled over a couple times. I suppose she is tying it down after fixing it.
                  Smart idea. Each winter we get some storms with 60 mph winds or bigger. Could challenge a light trailer.

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                  • #10
                    We had a groomer that had to stop using her old mobile but I think they found she was draining her gray water not in a septic.

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