Q&A | WHOLESALE FLOWERS
Hey friends! Upon using the “Ask us a question” feature on Instagram, we’ve encountered a few of the same questions repeatedly and thought it might be best to answer those questions here with photographic accompaniment by the talented Kate Ames !
For our first Q & A session, we are answering the question:
How do you purchase wholesale flowers ?
The short answer to this question is “obtain a business license”.
We’ll dive into the gritty details of the long answer below…
WHY WHOLESALE ?
The most obvious benefit of having access to wholesale flowers is the money to be saved over the long run. Another oft-overlooked perk of wholesale is that you’ll gain admittance to a vast new realm of floral varieties, which are generally not to be had unless custom ordered by a local flower shop.
IS A WHOLESALE LICENSE FOR YOU ?
If you have floral needs for a mere one or two projects, I’d highly suggest taking the path of least resistance and head to a local flower shop to source your blooms there. The slight payoff of being registered wholesale wouldn’t justify the rigors of applying for a business license. However, if you adorn your home with fresh floral designs on a regular basis or are committed to practicing floral design seriously for fun or for profit, then getting a business license may make sense for you!
STEPS TO ACQUIRE A BUSINESS LICENSE
The details of acquiring a business license differ from state to state - most of you who asked this question are from the PNW or Texas, so I will be catering my answers to you!
When obtaining a business license you will want to keep it simple and register as a Sole Proprietor. This means the “business” can be legally “operated” under your name. You are not separated from the business in any way. It’s the simplest form of business and ideal if you have no risk of putting yourself in a position to get sued or declare bankruptcy (got real dark, real quick- sorry!). These won’t be risks for you if you are not actually dealing with clients.
1. ESTABLISH Your Business Name
This can be the same as your actual name. If you choose a fancy business name, you will need to register that name as your “Doing Business As" (DBA) or as your “Assumed Business Name.” You will see both of those terms floating around depending on the state.
2. Register as a Sole Proprietor in your state
For more info:
3. OBTAIN NECESSARY LICENSES
In most cases, for the target audience of our response, this is a matter of obtaining a Sales Tax Permit, which then serves as your Wholesale Number.
For more info:
Additional licenses that you probably will not need: If you plan on dealing with potted plants, buying them wholesale, and then selling them, etc, you will need to get an agricultural license. Yet another form to fill out, albeit not complicated, however it’s wholly unnecessary for simple floral design.
Need an ein ?
LASTLY, if you are thinking about starting an actual business and think you will need to hire contractors or employees, you will need to register your business with the IRS to receive an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you are just wanting to play with flowers on a semi-regular basis, you don’t need to worry about this step and can simply use your social security number.
PAY SALES TAX NOW OR LATER ?
Bonus tip: When you purchase your wholesale goods, opt to pay tax up front. Otherwise, you will be responsible for tracking your sales tax liability and ensuring that you have money set aside each quarter to satisfy that liability (unless you reside in a 0% sales tax state like Oregon). You can find information on reporting wholesale purchases at the links above regarding Sales Tax Permit acquisition.
Connect with FLORAL WHOLESALE PROVIDERS
Now that you’ve went through the work to obtain a wholesale license, what remains is to simply set up an account with any number of wholesale providers! Depending on your location, you could visit the actual wholesaler to peruse their flower selection, order by email or phone for pick them up at the airport, or have them delivered directly to you.
welcome to the world of wholesale
OKAY! You’ve made it. You are now officially licensed as a wholesale florist! Having fun yet?! This is one small facet of running a floral business, which is why when a florist’s work is referred to as merely “playing with flowers” it can make a florist chuckle. Let us know if you decide to pursue your wholesale florist license and, please, show us your flower arrangements!!
Happy Designing !!!
Comment below with any further questions!