If you want to start a juice retail business, you should not only consider the type of juice you want to offer your customers, but also the licenses that will enable you to carry out the business. It can be quite challenging to know exactly what you need if you don’t have a location yet, but many types of permits are common.
You can choose to start a small juice-making and retail business out of your home and decide to never expand beyond that. But if you are a bit more daring, you can choose to start in a storefront, hire a team of employees, and develop a brand.
However, note that every state has specific regulations, so you are advised to check with your local government to see what business licenses and permits you will need to start selling juice in your area. Even your city or county may mandate specific business licenses and permits.
Also, take your time to review the government websites of your state and city to make sure you have all the documentation you need.
10 Different Types of Licenses You Need to Sell Juice
1. General Business License
Regardless of the type of business you intend to start, most cities and counties in the United States will mandate you to obtain some form of general business license. If you intend to sell your juice from your home, then the general business license you require will include resellers or a tax certificate.
A general business license allows an entrepreneur to legally undertake commercial activities within the boundaries of an existing town, city, or county.
Zoning Permit Or Waiver
In the United States, zoning laws stipulate the types of establishments that can exist in an area. Most often, areas zoned residential don’t give room for businesses. However, if your business doesn’t need a sign, steady traffic, or involve dangerous items, you can likely get a waiver.
You must contact your city or county’s zoning department to find out what you need. If you fail to get the proper zoning requirement, you might end up paying a penalty or getting closed down.
Check your HOA, Deed, or Lease Restrictions
Coupled with your local zoning laws, please note that your neighbors may be worried that your home-based juice business may instigate added traffic and noise, parking problems, unwanted signage, and distracting lighting that will affect their ability to enjoy their own homes.
In some neighborhoods, your co-operative, or homeowners’ association may have put additional deed covenants in place to restrict or prohibit home-based businesses.
If you intend to rent a property, your lease may include restrictions on home-based businesses to protect the interests of other tenants. Even when these limitations are not in place, ensure to find out if you need to apply for permission to run your home-based juice business from your neighborhood association or rental agency.
Sales Tax Permit
Selling juice is considered selling tangible goods (items you can hold in your hand). If your state collects sales tax, then you also have to obtain a sales tax permit through your state’s tax comptroller or tax office.
Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN is simply a social security number for a business. It is free and can be gotten online. Sole proprietorships may not need one, but it is advisable so you don’t have to use your social security number for business purposes. LLCs and other business structures, especially if you have employees, require an EIN.
Permits For Your Commercial Sign
In this sort of business, a well-placed commercial sign may help direct your customers or market your juice business to the public. Before investing money on a sign, know what permits and rules apply to commercial signs in your location.
In most places, you will be expected to apply for an applicable permit before posting a commercial sign. Have it in mind that this permit may also spell out further limitations, such as the sign’s size, placement, wording, materials, and lighting on your property. Remember to get in touch with your local zoning board or commission for rules and restrictions on signage.
Doing Business As. (Sometimes Called “Assumed Name” Or “Fictitious Name” Statement)
A Doing Business As (DBA) License allows you to operate your juice business under a name other than your own. If your business name does not contain your name, then a fictitious business name permit is necessary to notify the state that you are doing business under a name other than your own. You must make sure that your business name is not already in use in your state before registering.
VAT For International Sales
If you intend to sell your juice to consumers outside the United States, you will have to pay value-added tax or VAT. If you don’t want the stress, then consider using a payment provider that collects and pays it for you, such as Amazon or ClickBank.
Food handler’s License
Note that any business that handles food and drinks in the United States will require a food handler’s license or a food and safety certificate. You also need to prove that you know a lot about food handling and storage. The owner will need this license as will any employees who assist in the preparation of the juice.
Health Department Permit
Also, note that your juice business will need a permit from the local health department. The health department might also mandate certain employees of the business to obtain food handler’s cards. The health department will periodically inspect the facility that you use in making the juice to verify the business is complying with health and safety standards.
Please note that there may even be more licenses and permits needed to start and successfully run your juice business in the United States. Owing to that, it is recommended that you check with your state and local jurisdictions to make sure you covered all the bases.