The Unfun Side of Starting a Business

I’m still a long way from “opening up shop,” so to speak.  I’m painting and finding out about printers in the area who might be a good fit for my painting reproduction needs.  The painting is fun, and I generally feel like I’m making progress on the printing situation.  The technology makes sense, and I understand why certain papers and printing techniques are more expensive and thus more valuable.  I get that.

The problems do start with the printing though.  Even though it makes sense to me on a general level, all of that printer stuff means tons of cost/benefit analysis.  Do I need my paintings to be able to stand up to UV rays and fluorescent lighting for 200 years?  Or can I go with the less expensive but still nice options that will stand up to the test of time for about, oh, 50 years?  Will people value a reasonable price over archival quality?  What in the world am I doing?!

But today (with those questions and more swimming around in the background), I worked on conquering a bunch of things that I didn’t even see on the horizon until very recently.  I got an Employer Identification Number from the IRS (even though it’s borderline unnecessary for my exact situation, there are potential perks to having an EIN).  I registered my business with a start date of next month with the Virginia tax folks.  I found out the state and local tax rates and set up my online shop to accommodate those taxes.  I signed up for an account that gathers my sales numbers from Etsy to help me report monthly taxes in the future.

I had a mini panic attack while doing all of those things.  I recovered a bit when I submitted information to the right folks.  I sighed loudly.  Peanut sighed sympathetically (also loudly).

So that’s where things stand.  I’m so glad to have the first steps of the business side of things behind me.  I also feel like I need a drink, but it’s noon-ish, so I’ll have some coffee instead.

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