Approaching Government Offices Shouldn’t Be Off-Putting

Whether you are just getting started in your design business, or have been business awhile, you will need to interact with various government agencies. There are licenses and registrations. Taxes and fees. Permissions and applications. Codes and requirements.

Approaching government offices, for many people, can be somewhat off-putting and scary. There’s always that underlying psychological fear of authorities and big brother. You don’t want anyone to laugh at you and your ideas, or put you down, or belittle you and think you and your business are too insignificant.

But personal fears are NOT the reality!

Starting a business, even though it might be very small initially, is the American way. All these local and state and federal bureaucrats owe their jobs to people like you. In a big way. Your efforts to make money selling jewelry or other design products or craft items justifies their positions. So, right off the bat, they are biased towards liking you and wanting to help you and your business.

If they feel that you are serious about your business and determined to succeed, even if you are completely failing again, if they believe your goals are to succeed in business, they will go out of their way to help you.

So, when I filled out the property assessment form for the Tax Assessors Office, I got a call to come into the office. When I got there, one of the tax assessors sat down with me, and we re-filled out the form together. He explained what they were looking for, and what I needed to provide. no penalties. No penalizing. Just sincere help and consideration.

And when I made a mistake on a payroll tax submission, I received a letter from the IRS to call them. I called them, and, as with the Tax Assessor, they went over the form with me, helped me correct my mistake, and wiaved the late penalty.

And when the state force a change in the business tax form — a single form, rather than three separate forms, used to calculate taxes due to the local, county and state revenue offices, I completely missed the mark. I didn’t get anything right. Our city clerk called, and asked me to come in. We filled out the form together. She said not one person in Berry Hill had completed the new form correctly, but I was one of the few to at least put in some numbers. The following year, I returned to the clerk’s office, so that we could fill out the form together from the start. And then the third year, I was able to do it myself.

This situation happened to a friend of mine. She was unable to pay the monthly sales taxes to the state. Within 3 days from when they were due, she received a letter from the state. The letter informed her that she was going to get punished for not submitting the sales taxes, why it was so unconsionable on her part, and that a court date had been set up already. Further, she would be contacted by a State Revenue Agent.

The letter made her nervous.

Bureaucratic letters do make people nervous. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the letters you get from these government agencies read very punitively. They sound scary. But their bureaucratic writing and tone are very different than when you deal with these people in person.

The State Revenue Agent came by and spent 3 hours with her. He went over the basic problems. He worked with her on a strategy for getting caught up in paying. He evaluated her ongoing business to identify problems and opportunities for making positive changes. No court date had actually been set. He coached her on getting back on the right track. He made himself available by phone to answer her questions over the next several weeks. He knew his stuff and did right by her.

Everyone in these local, state and federal agencies, you’ll find, is very helpful. If they believe you want to succeed, they will go out of their way to help you succeed.

If they think you’re not serious and merely taking advantage of regularly laws, then watch out.

Some Forms, Applications and Registrations You Might Need To Complete

  • state registration to collect sales taxes
  • business licences
  • federal EIN number
  • local, state and federal taxes
  • property taxes
  • business income taxes
  • state employer account number
  • trademark / service mark
  • copyright


Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

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Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking


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Warren Feld

Warren Feld

Beading and jewelry making have been wonderful adventures, from custom work, production work, and teaching. *Design is about the ability to make smart choices.