Getting Started - Nuts and Bolts
Congratulations! You have decided to take the next step towards your vending empire! Starting a vending machine business is a very simple process. Now, I will caveat that the way I started and others before me is not the only way. We will talk about setting up an LLC, business bank account, website, etc. All of these are not required but things I have found to legitimize myself and the business. I am no longer Adam Forbes doing vending machines out of my truck, I am a recognized business by the state of Texas with separation between my personal finances and business finances. Another caveat before I get started, I am not a CPA or Attorney. I consulted with both during my business formation and will pass along their advice. Always consult with a CPA and Attorney if you have tax or legal questions.
Now let’s get started. You have decided to start a vending machine business. Congrats! It is a big step to achieving your goals. Whether it remains a side hustle or becomes your primary source of income, this business is a great way to achieve financial freedom. Early on, I focused on making enough to cover my living expenses so I could save more or focus on my kids' education and experiences. Whatever your reason is, you need to set yourself up for success. I believe the best way to do this is setting up an LLC for your business. It is an easy way to protect yourself and keep your personal life separate from your business life. Something to consider before filing for your LLC, it does cost money and it will take several days to be finalized. If you plan on owning your machines through your LLC, you will need to file your LLC well in advance to ensure it is set up and official.
Choosing a name for your business is very important. I would recommend including the word “vending” in your name to provide clarity and ease of doing business. Search your state’s filings to see if your chosen name is taken. If it is taken, keep trying to find that perfect name. If not, it’s time to file. You might have seen the commercials for companies like LegalZoom or ZenBusiness.These are totally fine to go with if you have trouble navigating your state’s business filing system. Companies like these will typically handle everything but it does come at an additional cost. They will act as your registered agent (to receive legal and government notices) if you do not have a CPA or Attorney who can serve in the role. Those services will walk you through each step so it can be simplified for sure. They will usually send email updates to let you know where they are in the process of filing your LLC.
Once you have received your Tax ID number (EIN), I would recommend opening a business checking account for your company. Keeping your finances separate will help you track expenses and revenue easier. A business checking account may also have features that your personal checking account may not. It will also help with year end tax reporting because you will not have to comb through 12 months of your personal checking account to calculate your business spending. Your big box banks will offer this service but so will most local banks. It might be easier to choose the same bank that you use for your personal checking account but this is not required.
Now that you are set up, it's time to start making money! I will talk in a later blog post about getting up and running. For now, the nuts and bolts of your empire are set up and you should celebrate. You should expect the above steps to take about 10-14 days to complete. I know there are some gaps in this post that you might have some questions about. I am an open book and there are no secrets with my business.
Next week, I will share with you ways to get your first location. In the meantime, reach out if you have any questions and I would be more than happy to help.