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  • Setting up to sell handmade greetings cards

    Hi everyone, a newbie here to the forums. I am trying to find a way to help my mom sell her hand made greetings cards. Working in IT I would like her to be able to see her cards online. How can I legally go about selling them online?

    - Do I have to register as a business?
    - Do we have to be self assessed?
    - Does it matter that she has a day job and this is a spare time/weekends thing?

    I am sure there are lots of you out there been through this already and you will have all the answers so any advice people can give me would be awesome.

    Many Thanks
    Andrew

  • #2
    Firstly, welcome to the forum. Nice of you to help your Mom. I can't personally help in this but I am sure someone will be along with the right advice before much longer.
    Carol
    God helps them that help themselves.

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    • #3
      Hi Andrew

      Inland Revenue asks that you register as self-employed within 3 months of starting to trade. There's info and a downloadable form on their website http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm

      If she has a job, and pays tax through that, and makes a loss selling the cards, I believe the loss can be offset so she may end up with a tax refund, so registering with IR isn't all bad! An accountant would advise you further.

      You could also look at distance selling regulations.

      If you go to your local Business Link http://www.businesslink.gov.uk you should find more help and advice. There may be some free courses you can go on.

      Good luck!
      digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
      blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
      hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
      blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

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      • #4
        I can only agree with Wendy.
        to the forum

        Jane
        www.just-soaps.com
        Twitter JUSTSOAPS
        FB www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Soaps/258910018463
        Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties

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        • #5
          Hi Andrew,
          Wendy is right. The taxman will want to know. If your mum is trading, whether she makes a profit or loss or breaks even, she'll have to do accounts and a self assessment form.

          It all sounds scary, but the Inland Rev can be very helpful, and they also produce a leaflet about working from home, written in normal language. A lot of it is done online now.
          Celia
          I can't be creative and tidy too
          www.jencel.co.uk for beads, findings and threads
          The Occasional Sheffield Bead Shop
          Jencel on Facebook

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          • #6
            Hi Andrew

            Welcome to the Forum. As everyone has said, she will need to be registered as self-employed. I also attended a couple of free courses when I registered - 'Becoming Self Employed' and 'Self-Assessment' - which were very, very helpful. It was great to have a tax person in the same room who was happy to be bombarded with questions from us all. It will give advice as to working from home, what you can and can't reasonably claim for and things like that. I'd certainly recommend them. And I will say that everyone at the tax office I've dealt with has been very helpful and friendly, not off-putting at all!

            Good Luck
            Jane

            If beads were still currency, I'd be a millionaire!


            http://www.wildheartcrafts.co.uk/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AngelCard View Post
              Hi everyone, a newbie here to the forums. I am trying to find a way to help my mom sell her hand made greetings cards. Working in IT I would like her to be able to see her cards online. How can I legally go about selling them online?

              - Do I have to register as a business?
              - Do we have to be self assessed?
              - Does it matter that she has a day job and this is a spare time/weekends thing?

              I am sure there are lots of you out there been through this already and you will have all the answers so any advice people can give me would be awesome.

              Many Thanks
              Andrew
              Hi Andrew and

              As the others have said, your Ma will need to register once she starts trading (i.e. makes a sale!) On the plus side, all her supplies become tax deductible.. so there is a benefit in registering promptly, as she will be able to claim from day 1, even if she hasn't sold a card.

              It is extremely unlikely that she will need to register for VAT due to the high threshold, so that will not be a worry.

              In case she is worried about how it affects her day job, her employer will continue to tax her as normal, and at the usual rate, any "adjustment" will be calculated through her self assessment at the end of each year and will not impact on her employer.

              Admittedly the Business link service can be a bit erratic, some folk have had less than perfect relationships withthem, but on the whole, they do have good advisors, as well as lots of free courses and seminars regarding small business, and in some cases, access to small start up grants, women in business grants and so on..

              You may think that selling a few cards from home wont apply, but it realy is worth a try!!

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              • #8
                Can't add much to what has already been said - sound advice all round. One new member seems quick off the mark at trying to sell!!
                Cynthia
                http://iforjonesdesigns.website.orange.co.uk

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