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What do I have to do to start a business?

Do I need a business permit?

Business located within the city limits should obtain a permit from the city office. No permit is required outside of the Pittsburg city limits.

Do I need a business Merchant Setup?

Depending on your business type you may very well want to accept and process credit cards. In most cases your customers may not have cash with them and may only have credit cards like visa and mastercard. You can try our member MSG Group for small business merchant account setups.

Do I need a business license?

Depending on the type of business you are operating and the products or services you are providing, registration or licensing with specific state and/or federal agencies or commissions may be required. See the complete list at

Do I need to be concerned about zoning?

Be sure you know if zoning restrictions apply to your business in the location you propose, even if you plan to start your business in your home. Contact the City of Pittsburg for specific zoning requirements.

Do I need to register my business with the state?

Registering your business in Kansas is generally related to the legal form of your business: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, sub-s corporation or corporation. For more information, see: Forms for registration are available at:

Do I need an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

A Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) is generally related to the legal form of organization of the business. Most legal forms of organizations must obtain a FEIN to be used as identification for their business. A sole proprietor who does not have employees may use their social security number as an identification number. The form for obtaining a FEIN is available at:,,id=98350,00.html.

I need a sales tax permit?

Businesses engaged in selling tangible personal property (goods), admissions or providing taxable services to the end user must register with the Kansas Department of Revenue to collect the appropriate state and local sales tax from customers. Businesses may also be subject to the Kansas Retailers� Compensating Use Tax. The business tax application may be obtained through Kansas Department of Revenue�s website at:

What if I have employees?

If you have one or more employees in your business and are required to withhold federal income taxes from employee�s wages, you are also required to withhold Kansas income tax from those wages in most instances. Both a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and a Kansas Withholding Tax registration are required. The FEIN application is available through the U.S. Internal Revenue Service at: (,,id=98350,00.html) and the registration through the Kansas Department of Revenue at: (http://www.ksrevenue. Org/pdf/forms/cr16.pdf) No fee is required for registration.

Do I need a business plan?

Most business persons believe a business plan is necessary only if financing assistance is needed to start the business. However, a carefully prepared business plan can be a valuable management tool both for start up and existing businesses. The business plan is a �road map� for the business that help the business person determine where the company is, where it wants to be, and how it plans to get there. The planning process allows the business person to think through all aspects of the business venture and lays the groundwork for an operational plan. In addition, it provides the basis for potential lenders to review the business for potential financing.

What sources of funding are available?

Conventional Loans- Most banks will make loans to start-up and existing small businesses. They typically have eligibility requirements that the applicant has to meet. One common requirement is sufficient contribution of owner�s equity (cash or assets from the borrower), generally 20% to 30% of your start-up costs.

Government- guaranteed loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers numerous loan programs to assist small businesses. However, the SBA is primarily a guarantor of loans made by banks and other private institutions.

Local Revolving Loan Funds: The City of Pittsburg has an Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund. Eligibility for this program typically involves substantial job creation activities.

Grants: Contrary to what you hear in the media, grants or �free money,� are not too common. Nearly all funds obtained by for� profit businesses are in the form of debt capital which required repayment.

What information will a lender want to see?

When applying for a small business loan, you�ll typically need to provide the following:

Business plan- (including financial projections)

Personal financial statement (for those with 20% or more ownership.)

Credit report

Historical financial

Statements & federal tax returns (for existing businesses)

Do I need insurance? If so what type?

Businesses will want to consider two types of insurance: Property insurance:

Protects the assets of the business from loss due to fire, windstorm, theft or other perils to property

Liability insurance: Allows the business to defend itself from and pay for the claims of bodily injury or property damage.

Other insurance considerations include life and health insurance options for employees, how to handle business interruptions that may arise, and performance or dishonesty bond coverage for employees.

Do I need a patent, copyright or trademark?

If you have developed a new product or have an idea for one, you may need to obtain a patent. Also, you may want to seek a trademark on the product. The United States Patent & Trademark Office has a website where you can perform patent and trademark searches.

The patent search can be found at:

The trademark search can be found at: You may also need the services of a patent/trademark attorney.

The alliance for Technology Commercialization (ATC) at Pittsburg State University provides a variety of services to help individuals and businesses develop, transfer and commercialize new technologies. They also assist with patent and trademark searches. Eric Ferrell, ATC President, can be reached at (620) 235-4972.

Copyrights provide protection to authors of �original works of authorship� including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. Searches can be performed through the United States Copyright Office.

Where can I go for more help?

Kansas Small Business Development Centers (KSBDC) provide assistance to entrepreneurs and small business persons through free, confidential one-on-one counseling, low-cost training and free resource referrals, and business information. Service is provided through regional centers throughout the state. The KSBDC at Pittsburg State University is located in Shirk Hall, 1501 S. Joplin Street, and provides services to a 12 county region in Southeast Kansas. E-mail: or phone: (620) 235-4920 or (620) 235-4920

Kansas Department of Commerce provides assistance to start-up and existing businesses through a variety of programs which provide sales tax exemptions, state income tax credits, workforce training grants and financial assistance. Craig VanWey is the Southeast Region Project Manager and can be reached at (620) 232-0955 or by email at

Web Links Reference Guide

City of Pittsburg

Crawford County

Department of Internal Revenue

Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce

Kansas Secretary of State

Kansas Department of Commerce

Kansas Department of Revenue

Kansas Department of Labor

Merchant Accounts

Kansas State Legislator

State of Kansas

U.S. Patent and Trademark

U.S. Small Business Association

117 West 4th Street
P.O. Box 1115
Pittsburg, Kansas 66762
(620) 231-1000
Fax: (620) 231-3178

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