Are you a passionate gun owner? If so, you may have considered opening your own gun shop or gun e-commerce online. If you have the knowledge and an interest in guns, this is a profitable small business to have.
Whether you want to open a local gun store or one online, you need a good marketing strategy in place. You need the funds to buy the artillery. However, you need to consider other important steps. Optic Gear Lab is to help you with the requirement to start a small gun shop business as a fanatical gun owner.
So put on your consumer-thinking hat and let us proceed to the important stuff.
Important Steps to Follow in Opening a Gun Shop
One of the most talked about topic in the United States alone is guns. You have decided you want to open a gun shop.
However, where do you start? First, you need capital and you need to tackle legal stuff.
The fact is whether you own a local store or online gun shop you must do background checks on your customer. This verification is conducted by NCIS (the National Instant Criminal Background Check System).
Now for the exciting stuff what should you do?
- Legal Requirements
This is the first and most important step. You need to have all your legal requirements in place. You need to go through a background check to get different licenses and permits. Here is a list of the legal documents you will need.
- The Zoning Compliance Permitfor dealing with arms under the Federals Firearm License
- The Gun Dealer’s License (FFL)– this process can take up to two months if you buy and sell firearms and will determine if you can open your small business
- Biometric Certification and Fingerprint Card from your Local Police Department
- A business plan
- Certificate of Incorporation– this is your legal documents related to your company’s information. Here you can consider setting your business up as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) as it is an unstable trade.
- IRS tax compliance documents
- Insurance Policy Documents
You need to study the laws and regulations related to this business. Any missteps in this business can cost you from massive fines to jail time.
- The Zoning Compliance Permit
This is the first step before you even think about applying for an FFL or open your business. This makes the ATF application quicker and easier. Contact your local jurisdiction agency concerning zoning matters. Advise them of your plans and follow the procedures set out with them. This determines if you need to alter your business plans. Request your documentation from them showing that your firearms business permitted by the zoning regulation.
- Applying for your FFL
Here you need to understand the FFL does not allow you to carry your own firearm. You need to make sure you meet all the FFL requirements and need to get the ATM Form 7. You can download this form online at the ATF website. Complete the form and have your fingerprint form completed by the local law enforcement in your town.
For this step, you need the FD-258 fingerprint form. Included with the fingerprint you need to include a passport-sized photo of yourself. Include the appropriate fee depending on the license you apply for and mail both the forms to the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.)
After submitting your application, submit a copy to your local Chief Law Enforcement Office.
- Starting the Finance Process
By this time, you should know if the ATF has approved your application. This serves as an excellent proof when setting up your business plan to apply for a loan at the bank. Once you have set up your plan of action, you can start the process of applying for your Certificate of Incorporation.
- Time to get your Insurance Policies in place
Similar to any other small business you need to get insurance policies in place and can keep the following in mind:
- Property coverageto protect your assets
- General Liability Insurance as you are hosting a business where the public moves around. This protects your business and customers for accidents and damage to firearms.
- Automobile Insurance to protect the vehicles transporting products
- Professional Liability Insurance to cover claims if you offer firearm instruction and gunsmith services
- Workers Compensation Insurance to cover employees who work for you against injury claims
Now you have covered all the important points in starting up your gun shop it is time to get your shop outfitted. With the best weapons, thermal scopes, and accessories you can start a profitable business enjoying your gun hobby.
The hardest part is not getting your shop open. The toughest is to get you approved by the Federal Firearms License. Use all the research you have available and put it to good use.
The important thing is to apply for your Zoning Compliance Permit first as it determines if you can open a weapon shop in your area. The second step to apply for your FFL will help you save costs. Why as applying for a loan before the time will leave you with added expenses if not approved by the FFL.
Then you can draw up your business plan and make your business name legal. The rest will follow from registering the business at the IRS to getting your Insurance Policies in place.
About the author: Mike is a passionate hunter and his favorite grounds are Alaska and British Columbia. He’s also an expert in hunting gear and he is one of the most reliable resources when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job. He also writes for OpitcGearLab.com