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Checklist for Opening a Holiday Pop-Up Shop

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on November 02, 2015 11:32 AM

You don't have to be a large retailer to take advantage of holiday shopping, and you don't need a permanent store to reach customers. A holiday pop-up shop can be the perfect boost to your small business's revenue, provided you do it right.

There are quite a few legal hoops you've got to jump through when prepping your holiday pop-up store, and we've got them all in a handy checklist for you. The three (or so) legal L's of a pop-up shop:

  1. License -- Depending on where you're doing business, you may need a business license in order to operate your pop-up. Different states, counties, and cities have different requirements for licenses, and the license you need may also depend on where your pop-up is located (like whether your shop is on public or private property). And depending on what you're selling, you may need a specific permit as well. The Small Business Association is a good resource for state business licenses and permits.
  2. Lease -- Are you operating your pop-up indoors, or in someone else's commercial space? It may be a good idea to have a lease or sub-lease in place for pop-up store. Negotiating a lease can be tricky, so make sure you do your research, know what you need out of the lease and what's covered, and consider having an attorney review the lease before you sign it.
  3. Labor -- You may need an extra set of hands (or two or three) to help you with the holiday rush. But hiring employees, even temporary ones, can pose some legal problems. Make sure you're complying with local, state, and federal labor laws if you're adding holiday staff. And be especially careful if you're considering hiring independent contractors. While contractors can allow you to be more flexible with wages and hours, and may save you some money, the IRS has been cracking down on the contractor designation, since many employers have been using it to skirt labor laws.

Need a Business Attorney?

You can use our checklist to get your pop-up started, or you can head straight to an experienced business attorney who can help you with everything on your holiday checklist.

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