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Advise Needed! Hobby or Business?

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  • Advise Needed! Hobby or Business?

    I hope some of you guys who are plating in your garages can tell me at what point is it considered a business rather than a hobby? Do I need a business license? Luckily, I work for a plating company and I am very familiar with the processes so I know what I am getting into. I already have anodizing, and polishing set-up in my garage with copper-nickel-chrome coming very soon. I work my normal nine to five job, then work after hours at home. My concern is at what point should I consider a business license or do I even need one, and since I am in a residential area won't I be jeopardizing my mortgage?

  • #2
    I guess its not a business until you start claiming taxes and concider it a business.
    I have done several different ventures out of my garage and never called it a business. But...I dont get the tax deductions either.
    One thing you will have a problems with is trying to get a business license to run a plating set up in a residentual area. They will definently frown on this and then you will have the EPA involved. My advise (kept me out of trouble so far) is to just say its a hobby. Try to keep it low keyed also. Neighbors seem to think electroplating baths are made out of dynamite and nitroglycerin!!! A few of my (cool) neighbors know what im doing as I have taken the time to explain what things are. But for the most part...its low keyed. The days of guys doing things at home are getting rarer and rarer thanks to the people that dont have anything to do but complain! Grrrrrr....
    Good luck
    48 Buick


    • #3
      I Went The Business Route ...

      I run everything I do through a corporation just to separate personal assets from business assets. It isn't that expensive to incorporate (less than $100 where I live) and the benefits outweigh the cost - cheap insurance. You don't want to get personal finances mixed up with business so at the very least I would open a separate bank account for your plating jobs.

      There are a lot of places that will give you a free checking account. Many of the supplies I use are now tax deductible too - talk to your financial advisor before you try that though...


      • #4
        Now with it being a hobby or a business. Say you do it to make some side money, but not for a full time job. Do you need to go and get all the permits and EPA stuff or is this not needed since it is just a hobby? Same with powdercoating.


        • #5
          treehuggers ...

          So far I have flown under the radar of the EPA types. Any waste that I generate is treated as industrial waste so it is processed and disposed of locally for about $1.25 a gallon.

          Powdercoating I do seldom enough anymore that I don't worry about it. I bead blast stuff and a place in the 'burbs here will shoot and fire a whole set of engine tin for me for $35. I can barely buy the paint for that.


          • #6
            How could anyone having this much fun call it a business? LOL

            That would be called "Funny Business" kind of like "Funny Money"
            and therefor just a fun hobby totally exempt from the realities of a real business....untill you have need of employees I would stay low key or unless your making purchases of 100's of tanks and kits might make you look like a real business or 55 gallons of electrolite balancing in the bed of a brand new truck professionally lettered with a company name and logo in gold leaf on each door and mass quantities of chrome plated and anodized accessories using Caswell Quality Chemicals as examples of products might appear to be a real business.

            Oh... and the shirts you order by the dozens and wear which are delivered by a uniform company to your know the blue ones with the name "Hank" or "Frank" over the left pocket. Thats another dead giveaway.

            Anyway if they did make a stink you could always then wright off the intire house as every room would be used for one process or another leaving only your closet as actual living space...which as you may know would have to be excluded for a deduction. That would be 2 feet by 6-8 feet or aprox. 16 feet you would not be able to deduct. kITCHEN USED EXCLUSIVLY for boiling anodizing solutions and all the pretty colors sitting about in liquid containers ....heck they will just think your coloring easter eggs in July and for sure will think your just a nut why worry? Especially when the bathroom is used for drying parts and hiding your eggs instead of clothing items like blue shirts with the name "Hank" over the pocket being strewn about. Be sure to offer the hobby police a custom anodized hard boiled egg or donut before they leave, and they won't bother you anymore.....they love donuts!!


            • #7
              lol, extremely well put