Business start up for college students

patmcl48March 20, 2014

Hey all

So a colleage and I are undergrads in Ithaca NY, and we sell plants every week at the library for a club to fund trips to botanical gardens and for our greenhouse rentals etc. Regardless, we make ALOT of money doing this, and are considering doing this over the summer as an independent business.

I have done some reading and some research but I definitely need some guidance. as far as econimic feasibility is concerned, I have money to invest. We also have alot of stock to chose from as we have raised all of our own plants through propagation (our club usually composts everything cause everyone leaves during the summer) and can use the extra from this year to help our own sales. We also have enough startup cash to rent a greenhouse from a nearby research facility for the entire summer, and a few months beforehand to start our stock.

So we are considering the local farmers market, I am already in contact with them as well as local legal counsel.

So far I know we need to apply for a NYS growers license (

I also know we need to apply for a small business lisence (maybe?) if so im not sure where I can do that in a timely fashion and would appreciate some direction.

We also plan to give brochures out to faculty and other nearby offices so we can deliver locally and maximize profit. If we get the farmer market spot, then we will be guaranteed two separate 4 hour sale slots a week, which is awesome.

Again Im more naive in regards to the legal matters surrounding proper taxation and identification.

do we need to have an identified business name and registered NYS # in order to apply for a growers license?

I appreciate any input whatsoever, Im just trying to do something fun and independent with a few like minded friends.

I understand that the time frame isnt ideal, but we have local NYS reps that can most likely examine our greenhouse and plant stock within a month or two. We also dont use any pesticides or sell edibles, just houseplants .


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Licensing requirements and taxation differ from place to place. Check with your local municipality as to what they require - it may be something on that level or higher, perhaps the county or state.

In my area anyone can get a business license just through application with the state. How your choose to set up and name your business is up to you (and your club) and the legal exposure you wish to engender. I'd recommend taking a business class or two to help you set up and run a small are certainly in the right environment to take advantage of that!!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 1:18PM
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