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Old 02-25-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
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Starting a fish store

Hey guys I would like to know what permits and licenses I would need to start an LFS. I'm planning to start one up after I'm at least 20 since I'm only 14 at the moment also any ideas how much it would cost for a average sized fish store. Keeping fish is my passion and saltwater is my favorite (mostly reefs) please respond thanks!
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulyboy123 View Post
Hey guys I would like to know what permits and licenses I would need to start an LFS. I'm planning to start one up after I'm at least 20 since I'm only 14 at the moment also any ideas how much it would cost for a average sized fish store. Keeping fish is my passion and saltwater is my favorite (mostly reefs) please respond thanks!
It's great that your so passionate about the hobby and that your so motivated!! Strive for your goals!! I wish you success with whatever you choose!

Now.... With that said. This is a very LOADED question. You'll need permits for certain fish. You'll need permits to build. It's a hard question to answer with bottom line type answers ( hope that made sense)

Size of ship will depend on location and what you can find in your area, also what rent will be. The your tanks, both freshwater and saltwater, setting up displays and stocking them, also stocking the shop with products, food, lights,rocks, live rock, driftwood, chemicals, testers etc etc etc.

Of imagine it would cost a few bucks to get it going, then up keep, and staff, insurance. Then... Would you offer accounts? Would you be doing custom installs? Or just a basic mom and pop shop?
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:18 PM   #3
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Depends a lot on where you are. If you are starting it out of your home initially it will cost you a lot less overhead, but you'd obviously be limited in the kind of business you could do.

Here in FL I had to get a resale certificate from the state, filing for the state articles of organization, fictitious name/dba (if needed), aquaculture nursery certificate, and county occupational license.

The biggest thing to focus on while you are planning this is to figure out what you are going to specialize in and if it has a real market. Try to find a balance between what you personally like and what you think actually sells, sometimes they are not one in the same.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:26 PM   #4
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As someone that is in the process of doing something very similar ill tell you now. Start taking any business oriented classes and maybe even a BA in business. This will make your life a whole lot easier trust me. I have no legitimate education in business which is making everything so much harder to do but luckily my sister did major in business so she can help me out. Also, your credit, build it up as soon as you can that way your loans won't be next to impossible to get. One easy way to do this is get a credit card, withdraw money off the card and just stick it in your checking account. Then when your bill comes around just take the cash out your checking and pay that and your interest in full on time. The sad thing though, being you are 14 I don't know how much you know about the economy issues but small mom and pop stores although very VERY needed for a stronger economy are very hard to start due to large corps. Most new business owners also won't even see a true profit until their third year which then its usually still razor thin margins.... Like dino stated though this question is very broad and can't really be fully answered with out more info from you like what your stock list would be usually, employee count, state and local laws and regulations, etc.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:54 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, really helped me!
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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I forgot to mention my stock would be like salt water fish and corals but lots of corals a separate tank for each type ex) acropora. Also I would sell tanks and equipment, lights etc. and have maybe like a show tank where people could buy the expensive fish and corals such as big chalices or rare zoas
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:02 PM   #7
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And fresh water stock forgot about that :P
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:47 PM   #8
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I would start now building up coral colonies unless your going to buy from a supplier. Just my .02 that way people who purchase your product know where it came from and I imagine it would be loads cheaper since you won't lose as many in the shipping, and technically it would be all profit I reckon
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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You need to understand the initial capital that you would first need.


- Consider the rent expense which depends on the size of your shop. It also varies depending on location. An estimate may be $2000-$5000 in a non populated area (my dad owns a restaurant in New York City and pays $20,000 monthly rent)

- Also you would need to consider the employee expense unless you intend to run this place all by yourself.

- You will most likely be responsible for the restructuring of the store space which can costs thousands of dollars

- You also need to consider all the materials you need to start off the business (running tanks with filters, heaters, etc)

- I would imagine utility expenses to be quite a lot (water from water change, electricity from all the lights, heaters, filters)


You need to understand that you will be break even (when your profits accumulate to all the money you had invested) in 10-15 years depending on how successful you are.

Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:32 PM   #10
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its not cheap especially start up

buddy has a 100000 sq ft shop just saltwater
spends more time working than with family

and his rent is high plus all the equipment and all his overhead
don't know exact amount cause it's not my place to ask but I know it wasn't cheap
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