Federal, State, County, Local: They all want a piece of the action

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piggy bank in crosshairsI thought two years spent on planning budgets for my latest project, what is currently referred to as a fast casual restaurant, would have been more than enough time to discover what taxes, licenses and inspections were required. But, I was wrong. On the day that I went to the town offices to apply for a business license, the day before I was due to open, I was handed a pile of forms, forms to be completed and sent in along with my local sales tax of 2% to be collected on every sale and payable on the 15th of each month.

Local sales tax? I had already programmed my cash register and it did not include a 2% tax to be used for downtown improvements such as brick sidewalks, underground utilities, landscaping, lighting and annual celebrations to increase tourism. Although I had previously had communications with the town building inspector, town manager, police chief, fire chief, town clerk and landlord, never did I see or hear anything about a local sales tax. At least I had twelve hours or so to reprogram my register!

Small business entrepreneurs, those of you starting a food service or retail store, here is a list of taxes, licenses and inspections to use as a guideline so you will not be caught off guard as I was in this latest endeavor.

  • Fire department inspection
  • Third party fire suppression inspection
  • Building inspection
  • State, city or local occupancy permit
  • State health department permit
  • State, county or local health department inspection
  • City or local trash removal permit
  • State liquor licensing inspection
  • Federal income tax
  • State income tax
  • State sales tax
  • County sales tax
  • Local sales tax

And coming soon—world sales tax for sales made on the world wide web!

Buon Appetito e Buona Salute, Chef Angela Bell
Beyond the Bull (an “eat smart” kitchen)
233 W. Main St., Central, SC 29630

Last modified: August 28, 2013
Angela Bell

This story is part of our Small Business Corner, a peek into the life and trials of small business owners.

Category: MPR Authored, Restaurants, Small Business, Small Business Corner, small business owners

Home small business owners Federal, State, County, Local: They all want a piece of the action