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Your antique business may sell products online, at an antique mall booth, at craft fairs or flea markets, or in your own stand-alone storefrontor a mix of all of these locations. You will continually acquire new things for your business and work hard to resell them promptly and profitably. Most antique dealers focus on a certain category of antiques, such as furniture, old jewellery, printed media, or even advertising signage.


Antique Store

Follow these ten steps to open an antique store:

Prepare your Antique Shop

Create a legal entity for your antique store.

Register your antique shop for tax purposes.

Create a Business Bank Account and a Credit Card

Create an accounting system for your antique store.

Obtain the Required Permits and Licenses for your Antique Store

Purchase Antique Store Insurance

Establish your Antique Store Brand

Make a website for your antique shop.

Configure your Business Phone System

Starting a company entails more than just registering it with the state. This basic guide to beginning an antique business has been put together by us. These stages will guarantee that your new company is well-planned, correctly registered, and legally compliant.

STEP 1: Make a business plan.

A well-thought-out strategy is vital for entrepreneur success. It will assist you in mapping out the intricacies of your organisation and uncovering some unknowns. Consider the following crucial topics:

What are the initial and continuing expenses?

Who is your intended audience?

How much money may you charge your customers?

What will you call your company?

Fortunately, we have done a lot of the legwork for you.

What are the expenses of starting an antique store?

If you want to be a part-time dealer and love trading relatively modest products, this might be a low-cost company to start. You will need an internet business on eBay or Etsy, some initial inventory, and the ability to accept payments. This may be a weekend project with a little initial expenditure of a few thousand dollars. If you want to build a huge antique shop in an old mill or warehouse, you may spend up to $500,000 buying or leasing the land, creating display spaces, and buying enough inventory to get started.

What are the recurring costs of an antique shop?

Because you are always buying and selling, you should have a strong line of credit that can survive a spending frenzy. You will want dependable transportation and may need to operate an online business. Your display area or shop has certain upkeep charges.

Who is the intended audience?

Your most valuable client is the person or designer who appreciates your vision for distinctive and high-quality goods and returns to your shop for another piece to include into their home. Customers who frequent antique shops favour superior building and elegance over a showy showroom with a pushy sales team. They want to make a deal and feel like they own a piece of history that no one else can.

How can an antique shop earn a profit?

As the owner/operator, you will be always on the lookout for new things for your booth or online store, which you will benefit from by reselling at a higher price. You will be more effective if you flip your inventory often and fast. Large, pricey things might linger, lowering your revenue and giving buyers the impression that you never have anything fresh.

How much money may you charge your customers?

Everything is dependent on your goods. You may offer old Hot Wheels for $2 apiece or a gigantic courtroom mirror for $5,000. Your price structure will always be determined by market trends.

What kind of profit can an antique shop make?

Many dealers have a normal profit margin of about 30%, but bear in mind that you will be deducting listing costs, consignment fees, and other expenditures. An antiques company owner who is successful might earn between $45,000 and $60,000 per year. It is not a way to make a million dollars.

How can you increase the profitability of your company?

Be willing to get rid of unsold products on your shelf. If you paid for it and it is merely collecting dust, it is not earning you any money. Remember that you are not the collector; your consumer is!

STEP 2: Establish a legal entity

Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation are the most frequent business structure forms.

If your antique shop is sued, becoming a formal company organisation, such as an LLC or corporation, prevents you from being held personally accountable.

STEP 3: File your taxes

Before you can begin for business, you must register for a number of state and federal taxes.

To register for taxes, you will need to get an EIN. It’s really simple and completely free!

Taxes on Small Businesses

Depending on the business form you choose, you may have multiple choices for how your company is taxed. Some LLCs, for example, may benefit from being taxed as a S company (S corp).

These guides will teach you more about small company taxes:

Taxes on LLCs

LLC vs. sole proprietorship

Corporation vs. LLC

S Corp vs. LLC

How to Form a S Corporation

S Corporation vs. C Corporation

There may be state taxes that apply to your company. In our state sales tax guides, you may learn more about state sales taxes and franchise taxes.

STEP 4: Establish a company bank account and credit card

Personal asset protection requires the use of distinct business banking and credit accounts.

When you combine your personal and business accounts, your personal assets (your house, vehicle, and other possessions) are at danger if your company is sued. This is known as penetrating your company veil in business law.

Furthermore, understanding how to develop corporate credit may help you get credit cards and other financing in your company’s name (rather than your own), lower interest rates, larger lines of credit, and other benefits.

Establish a business bank account.

Opening a business bank account is not only required when asking for business financing, but it also:

Separates your personal assets from the assets of your firm, which is required for personal asset protection.

It simplifies bookkeeping and tax reporting.

Create a net 30 account.

Net 30 accounts are used to develop and grow company credit while also increasing cash flow. Businesses use a net 30 account to purchase items and refund the whole debt within a 30-day period.

Many net 30 credit suppliers submit information to the main business credit agencies (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how firms establish business credit in order to get approved for credit cards and other lines of credit.

Apply for a business credit card.

Obtaining a business credit card benefits you in the following ways:

Put all of your company’s costs in one location to separate personal and business spending.

Build your company’s credit history, which will be important for raising funds in the future.

STEP 5: Establish business accounting

Recording your numerous costs and sources of revenue is crucial to assessing your company’s financial status. Keeping precise and thorough accounting also makes yearly tax filing much easier.

Our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet simplifies LLC accounting.

STEP 6: Obtain all required permissions and licences

Failure to get appropriate permissions and licences may result in significant penalties or possibly the closure of your firm.

Requirements for State and Local Business Licensing

Certain state permissions and licences may be required to run an antique shop. Visit the SBA’s reference to state licences and permits to learn more about licencing requirements in your state.

For information on local licences and permissions, visit:

Check with the clerk’s office in your town, city, or county.

Contact one of the local organisations mentioned in the US Small Business Associations database of local business resources for help.

Occupancy Certificate

A storefront is usually where an antique shop operates. A Certificate of Occupancy is often required for businesses that operate from a physical site (CO). A certificate of occupancy certifies that all building rules, zoning laws, and government requirements have been satisfied.

If you intend to rent a space:

In most cases, it is the landlord’s obligation to get a CO.

Before signing a lease, be sure your landlord has or can receive a valid CO for an antique shop.

A new CO is often required after a big remodelling. If your location will be refurbished before opening, incorporate wording in your leasing agreement saying that lease payments would not begin until a valid CO is given.

If you intend to buy or create a location:

It is your responsibility to secure a valid CO from a local government entity.

Examine all building regulations and zoning restrictions for your business’s location to guarantee that your antique shop is in compliance and may receive a CO.

STEP 7: Obtain commercial insurance.

Insurance, like licences and permits, is required for your company to operate safely and legally. In the case of a covered loss, business insurance protects your company’s financial well-being.

There are several sorts of insurance plans designed for various types of companies with varying risks. If you are unaware about the hazards that your company may encounter, start with General Liability Insurance. This is the most popular coverage required by small companies, so it’s a good place to start for yours.

STEP 8: Establish your brand

Your company’s brand is what it stands for, as well as how the public perceives it. A strong brand will help your company stand out from the crowd.

How to Market and Promote an Antique Store

Select your place carefully. Renting a low-cost booth at a mall with little foot traffic will result in no sales. Learn the importance of developing descriptions for your online stores based on common search terms in order to increase your exposure. Develop a loyal following by attending flea markets or artisan fairs on a regular basis.

How to Keep Customers Returning

When you have what your consumers want, they will purchase and return to your store. Follow vintage and pop culture trends to build exhibits that are appealing to today’s buyers. Always set a reasonable price and be open to haggle.

STEP 9: Create your company’s website.

After you’ve defined your brand and designed your logo, the next step is to build a website for your company.

While developing a website is an important step, some may be concerned that it is out of their grasp due to a lack of website-building skills. While this was a fair concern in 2015, online technology has made significant advances in recent years, making the lives of small company owners considerably easier.

The following are the primary reasons why you should not put off developing your website:

Every genuine company has a website, period. When it comes to bringing your company online, it doesn’t matter what size or sector it is.

Social media accounts, such as Facebook pages or LinkedIn company profiles, are not a substitute for your own business website.

STEP 10: Install your company phone system.

Getting a phone for your company is one of the finest methods to keep your personal and professional lives distinct and private. That isn’t the only advantage; it also helps you automate your company, provides it legitimacy, and makes it simpler for prospective clients to identify and contact you.