Starting an Antique Business

I collect mid-century antiques. I go to garage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores. I have decided that I want to do this for profit by selling. I looked into ebay but I am pretty sure that I would rather do it through an antique co-op in my area. To do this I need to get a resale number. I don't know anything about how to do that. Do I need to get a small business license? Does anyone have any ideas or alternative ways to start a business by selling collectibles?

April 6, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, you probably do need a business license, depending on where you live you may need both a city license and a county license. Check with both your City and County Court Clerk offices to see what you need.

As for the "resale #" you mentioned, in our area (Tennessee) you contact the Tennessee Department of Revenue to get a Sales Tax exempt # so you won't have to pay sales tax on what you purchase for resale.

One method you might try is selling at antique auctions. A lot of auctioneers take items on consignment to sell for customers, they charge a percentage of whatever it brings to sell it for you. The advantage of this method is you don't have to invest in a storefront to start your business until you are sure you want to go that route.

Best of luck,


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April 7, 20070 found this helpful

Aren't you in California?

A resale license is for charging and paying your sales tax bill. The initial deposit may be high, so be clear about how much you expect to earn in the beginning.

I would ask at the co-op. They may have license umbrellas for all the members of the co-op.


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April 7, 20070 found this helpful

Lara each state has different laws so I know in Arizona its not mandatory but most people do it. In CA I would be willing to bet it's mandatory. Check with your Secretary of State. That's where Arizonans get their licenses. Also you might want to check with your local IRS, they might have some information about businesses



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April 7, 20070 found this helpful

Wow thanks everybody for the feedback!

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