Me and my husband have moved to america recently, following the death of his father. Husband has citizenship as he was born in the country, but moved to England as a teenager. We have taken over the running of his late fathers gun and ammunition store and as neither of us have ever worked in America before we are pretty confused about the whole accounting and tax system. In England its pretty simple, but we need some help familiarizing ourselves with the US system. Can anyone point us in the direction of some sites or resources to help please? We would rather learn and manage it ourselves than pay accounting fees. Looking for anything like this that we use in the UK https://www.income-tax.co.uk/ please. Also in the UK we can get business grants, was also wondering if you can get ayting similar in the US as the store needs urgently renovating. Thanks!
You have to learn federal, state and local gun laws. Talking to another local gun shop will help. Welcome to America!!! At night watch a movie called “Coming to America” for comic relief https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094898/
I would highly suggest visiting your local Small Business Center, also talking to or hiring a qualified attorney and/or CPA. Getting suggestions from the internet is not the best place when dealing with taxes and laws, especially taxes and laws that can end you up in jail, even if you had the best intentions.
Ye you’re probably right there :/ will try the small biz centre, thank you
We will do, thank you.
Also never heard of it but will give it a watch! :)
Where is the store located?
You have to deal with the Federal BATFE for Federal Firearm License, Bound Book, firearm and ammunition laws, and rules, with the State on Business license, background checks [Sheriff, Local or State Police], and possibly with separate city or county regulations.
Any employees Dad had should know the regulation ins-and-outs, the recordkeeping, and also help with the business basics.
I have worked in several firearm stores over the years, and it can be confusing at first.
You will need the Federal Firearms License (FFL) to be in your name (or name of a business entity- Limited Liability Company, Sole Proprietorship, or corporation) and need to have whatever paperwork is needed for the business entity before you can get the FFL. DO NOT SELL ANY GUNS UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR FFL!!!
You will also need to show that your business premises are zoned for that type of business, and that you have a state (and maybe local) sales tax license before you can get the FFL.
Accurate record keeping in the exact format required by BATFE is essential, and mistakes can get you in jail.
As far as taxes, that will depend on what your business entity is, as they are different for LLC, sole proprietor or corporation.
Unless you like to read tax laws and can really understand that sort of thing, plan on paying someone who specializes in that to take care of it for your. Yes, it will eat up some of your profits, but you will be free to concentrate on your business instead of wasting hundreds of hours trying to understand tax laws. Time you can devote to earning enough for the professional help.
Security for your premises is important, with alarms, bars, cameras, etc, as well as insurance, both liability in case someone is hurt on your premises or by one of your products, and also insurance against fire or theft. Robbery of gun shops is not uncommon, especially late at night with a stolen vehicle driven thru the front door, cases smashed and stuff loaded into another vehicle and masked thieves gone in 2-3 minutes.
You cannot compete on price with internet sellers, so concentrate on service and willingness to order items. Also to act as a “transfer dealer” for people buying older guns from out of state that have to be transferred thru a FFL. Fees vary, but $25-30 seems common although some charge outrageous fees- and lose customers.
As John stated, your first priority is to determine the status of the FFL. I am pretty sure it doesn’t simply revert to your husband upon the father’s death, and I don’t know if you may continue to use that license for the business. Better you shut the business down and sell all the assets to an active FFL than for you to sell any firearms illegally. Take a breathe and clarify that first.
No problem with the ammo…unless you’re in California…I think.
First: rely on any current employees to assist you.
As to the Federal Firearms License, contact the local ATF office/agent, any current store employees should know where/who that is.
I remember ATF having an expedited FFL license transfer, or re-issue, for existing businesses where the ownership has changed, in order NOT to disrupt the business, nor put the employees out of a job, but I do not remember the specific details nor the form name or number.
There are other states where there are ammunition restrictions, but I would worry about that later.
Your local Better Business Bureau may also be of help.