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Small Business Ideas Forum

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Old 19th September 2010, 12:35 PM   #1

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2
Default I Have An Idea, Just No Idea Where To Start.

Hi guys. I'm sixteen years old and I'm interested in starting a business that would sell t-shirts/sweaters/etc. with cool/funny designs that other kids would want to wear. I would probably start with selling them locally but hopefully it could expand into something where I could start selling them online.

Anyways, I want most of the proceeds to go directly to some charity and with the rest of the money, I can invest in back into more clothes or building a website, etc. I also thought maybe I could get sponsored by corporations or something and maybe they could supply the money for the clothes so that 100% of the proceeds can be for charity.

Anyways, my real questions are:
1. How can I get this started?
2. Would this be considered a charity? A business? A nonprofit business?
3. What is the *right* way of going around this?

I know that the kids who sell lemonade at the lemonade stands don't need to legalize their business, etc. So, at what point does a business need to be made "official"?

I'm realllly looking forward to this and I'd extremely appreciate all of the advice I get. Thanks!

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Old 10th October 2010, 02:05 PM   #2

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Hill, NH
Posts: 38

I would probably classify it as a nonprofit not a charity because it provides a humanitarian service indirectly (you provide a service and give the proceeds to a charity instead of being a charity) I would try to go for nonprofit status because it is cheaper, better tax breaks and maybe some additional funding and publicity for your cause.

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Old 17th October 2010, 12:03 PM   #3

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 79


Just a thought

What if you went to your local Girls and Boys club and asked them if you can help them raise money by selling your t-shirts. The kids who go to the girls and boys club are probably your target market and will probably buy your merchandise while supporting the club they go to. The Boys and Girls club are great causes as they point kids in the right direction in life and keep them off the street. Make sure you start building a brand and a label so that you can get benefit from it in the long term. Tell the club you will give them a large percentage of the proceeds and they will probably help you promote it.

Michael Barbarita - Next Step CFO - CFO Services
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Old 17th October 2010, 05:06 PM   #4

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 33

I think it's a fabulous idea! Here are a couple of my thoughts:

1. Non-profit 501 C(3) status is an elaborate process to go through, and then maintaining it is cumbersome. I'd recommend starting as a sole proprietor and worry about business status once you're more established.

2. I think the Big Bros Big Sisters idea above is good. It seems like your best bet is to just get them out there to who ever you can and start to build some interest. Maybe you could sell them at sporting events, pass out a simple catalog to the other students at your school. Hook up with other fundraisers and split the profit with them on every shirt they sell - get the girl scouts out there selling your shirts!

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