A wholesale business is a type of business where you supply the products to a company that then resells the products. Generally, a wholesale company supplies retailers the products to sell to the end users of the product. If you’re interested in getting started in the wholesale business, understanding the steps you need to take can help you start your wholesale business on the path to success.



Choose the industry or product you want to wholesale. Decide what industry you want to serve, or the specific product or products you want to offer as part of your wholesale business. A wholesale flower business may sell flowers to local florists while a wholesale party supply company may sell party supplies to local party supply shops and event planners.



Write a business plan. A business plan creates the guide and foundation for building your wholesale business. The business plan should include information on your potential customers, suppliers, marketing strategies, business goals, location of your business operation and how you intend to distribute the products to the retailers.



Establish storage space. Determine where you are going to store the wholesale products. The space you provide largely depends on the product you are wholesaling. For example, flowers require special storage coolers, while party supplies may be stocked on shelves in the basement of your home.



Obtain a business license. Contact the county clerk’s office where the wholesale business operates. Most states and counties require you to obtain a wholesaler business license. In addition to the wholesale license, you may also need to apply for and obtain a business license that pertains to the industry. For example, a party supply wholesaler may need to obtain a party supply business license.



Obtain state and federal Tax ID numbers. The state in which you operate the business may require a wholesale business to obtain a state Tax ID number. Texas is one of these states. Contact the Department of Revenue for the state where your business operates to apply for and get a state Tax ID number.



Identify the manufacturing companies that make the products you want to wholesale and sign agreements with them to obtain their products at special (distributor) wholesale pricing. Inquire as to what the minimum order amounts are and how the products are shipped to your business. Also, find out what the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) is so you know how much you should be able to sell the product to retailers.



Find the retailers in your area that would have an interest in buying and stocking the products you wholesale and present your products to the owner or designated buyer for the store.



Distribute or deliver products to retailers. You may choose to hire a local delivery or messenger service to serve local retailers, and for either local or worldwide distribution, you can choose a shipping service. You can also arrange a drop-ship relationship, under which your wholesaler will ship the products directly to your retailer, using your business name.

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