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View Full Version : So I want to start my own FFL


leitung
10-11-2009, 5:35 PM
I pretty much know the process, order FFL packet from ATF, fill it out, send it in w/ payment. Get other permits, such as Seller's Permit and Business licences, then work on state CFD requirements.

1) Does Sacramento County have any ordnances regarding home FFLs? I know of 2 up here in the Antelope area, so I am sure its legal. Anything regarding schools I should know about, there is an elementary school nearby, but I am sure its more then 1,000 ft away.

2) How do I go about getting a permit from Sacramento County to do business in firearms? Do I need to talk to the sheriff's department?

3) Am I required to own a gun safe and store guns in a safe? I can't afford one right away but I will obviously be getting one ASAP.

4) What other licences/permits do I need?
I know of the following,
1) FFL
2) CFD registration
3) COE
4) HSC instructor certificate (not right away but quickly)
5) Sellers Permit
6) Permit from local authorties for the sale of firearms.

What else do I need to do? How about taxes, do I have to keep records of my total profits and such so I can file tax returns? Also, I am going to be the only person running the business, so what else do I need to do in the financial wise (I.E tax certificates, e.t.c)

Thanks for all of your help..

billslugg
10-11-2009, 6:00 PM
I got my FFL without having a lockable safe or even a secure building. (The metal sides of my building can be removed with a screwdriver from the outside). I have a network of ultrasonic motion detectors (bird proof) with hard wired and cell phone alarms to a central operator. I pledged to keep my guns disassembled, trigger locked or cabled together. They were OK with that.

freakshow10mm
10-11-2009, 7:00 PM
Yes you will have to do bookkeeping. I suggest Quickbooks for your accounting. You can get a dumbed down version called Simple Start for free. Get a CPA/accountant. Explain them the whole situation. They can advise you on any tax savings for incorporating versus acting as a sole prop. Handy to incorporate as an S-corp or LLC if this is a part time job too. EOY bonuses aren't subject to SET, but they can explain that to you. Just ask.

Get dealer insurance.

Get a fire resistant file safe. FFL copies and bound book go in there, 4473s if they fit, although it seems the ATF cares more about the bound book.

Get your bound book stuff on spreadsheet. Easy to maintain and organize. You can add categories to the basics, but the basics are required. I also record order number and NTN number for 4473s.

My ATF chick advised me to file 4473s by numberical order, ie 1,2,3,4 instead of inventory number. Just number them as you go. In the disposition section of my book, it's First/Last name, # of 4473, then NTN number. All is needed is the name and 4473 number, but the NTN is also helpful in case your 4473s are damaged in a fire. They can at least bring up the NTN if they need to investigate. I know a few that keep 4473s offsite in a fireproof bank vault.

Paperwork is everything.

tenpercentfirearms
10-11-2009, 7:03 PM
#1 thing you need to do before anything else is get your local business license and make sure you are properly zoned. If you don't get that, you will never sell guns in CA.

After that get your FFL, COE, BOE, and once you have all of that then your CFD and then you are DROSing guns.

leitung
10-11-2009, 8:07 PM
This could become annoying...

ZONING CODE OF SACRAMENTO COUNTY
Section 305-201 - HOME OCCUPATION STANDARDS
"e) There shall be no products sold on the premises except artist's originals or products individually made to order on the premises. Products which are not "artist's originals" or "individually made to order" may be constructed on-site, using equipment normally found in a residence; however, these products may only be sold at a permitted commercial location."

freakshow10mm
10-11-2009, 8:13 PM
If you are transfer only, you are selling a service, not a product.

Trouble is no ammo, accessories, etc.

Capt. Speirs
10-12-2009, 1:05 PM
4) What other licences/permits do I need?
I know of the following,
1) FFL
2) CFD registration
3) COE
4) HSC instructor certificate (not right away but quickly)
5) Sellers Permit
6) Permit from local authorties for the sale of firearms.

What else do I need to do? How about taxes, do I have to keep records of my total profits and such so I can file tax returns? Also, I am going to be the only person running the business, so what else do I need to do in the financial wise (I.E tax certificates, e.t.c)

Thanks for all of your help..

Check to see if the local authorities require you to have a "Second Sellers Permit", so you can sell used guns.

leitung
10-13-2009, 1:06 AM
If you are transfer only, you are selling a service, not a product.

Trouble is no ammo, accessories, etc.

Yeah, thats really annoying.. because I want to do special orders..

Whats funny is that, I know of a home ffl that sells guns..

ybz
10-14-2009, 10:58 PM
#1 thing you need to do before anything else is get your local business license and make sure you are properly zoned. If you don't get that, you will never sell guns in CA.

After that get your FFL, COE, BOE, and once you have all of that then your CFD and then you are DROSing guns.

what if you just want to get the FFL so you can collect guns and have no intention to DROS or transfer for anyone?

ke6guj
10-14-2009, 11:03 PM
what if you just want to get the FFL so you can collect guns and have no intention to DROS or transfer for anyone?then you can't get/keep an FFL other than a 03 C&R FFL. But a 03 is only good for Curios or Relics.

leitung
01-20-2010, 8:06 PM
I just applied for my business licence today and ficticous business name statement. Going tomorrow to do fingerprinting and file the statement in the paper. FFL packet is on the way along with other needed forms.

It's coming along.

keneva
01-21-2010, 11:10 AM
There are some schools on line that promise to get your FFL, even at home. Has anyone ever used them?

leitung
01-21-2010, 9:47 PM
Finger printing and Q&A with the sheriff is done after today, payment sent in for business name listing in the paper.

Next is the renovation of the den and getting the ffl...

PolishMike
01-21-2010, 9:53 PM
MAKE SURE you can get the local licenses first. Take a look at the PC that has the CFD requirements. If the city won't sign it off (business license stating that you are cleared to sell firearms OR a letter saying they do not regulate the sale of firearms.)

mswanson223
01-21-2010, 11:24 PM
what about kitchen shop FFLs?

tenpercentfirearms
01-22-2010, 8:41 AM
what about kitchen shop FFLs?

That is an interesting notion. Why would people who make kitchens be better FFLs?

Capt. Speirs
01-23-2010, 1:21 PM
That is an interesting notion. Why would people who make kitchens be better FFLs?

That's funny.

quiet-wyatt
01-23-2010, 2:39 PM
MAKE SURE you can get the local licenses first. Take a look at the PC that has the CFD requirements. If the city won't sign it off (business license stating that you are cleared to sell firearms OR a letter saying they do not regulate the sale of firearms.)
Yes - The local license is the hardest to get (I think). I looked into a home FFL business about 10-12 years ago and found this:
Federal licensing part - Easy
State licensing (BOE, COE, etc.) - Little harder but doable
County/Local licensing (Sacramento County) - So difficult that I couldn't navigate my way through all the restrictions... It was the straw that broke the camel's back... (Which is the intent of the restrictions, I believe...)

Just my experience - I wish you the best of luck with yours, leitung!

hill billy
01-23-2010, 9:03 PM
Huh, what is a BOE?

Is the CFd obtained from the DOJ before or after the FFL is issued?

tenpercentfirearms
01-24-2010, 7:17 AM
Huh, what is a BOE?

Is the CFd obtained from the DOJ before or after the FFL is issued?

Board of Equalization. The people you as a retailer pay sales tax to.

The DOJ issues absolutely nothing until all of your paperwork is complete. You must have the following items to obtain listing on the CFD.

FFL
Retail Sellers Permit
Business License
COE (Certificate of Eligibility)

Until you have all of those items, do not submit anything to the DOJ as they will simply return it.

Again, the BATFE will issue you an FFL with very little problems. They don't care if you don't get a business license. Anyone can get a retail seller's permit. You can get a COE as long as you have a clean record.

Absolutely, without a doubt, the biggest hurdle is the business license. And the license must say on it, "Valid for Retail Sales of Firearms" [PC 12071(a)(6)(B)]

hill billy
01-24-2010, 8:46 AM
Who issues the COE? I have my business license and sellers permit, guess I need to get working on the other stuff.

kemasa
01-24-2010, 9:02 AM
Ca DOJ.

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/coeapp.pdf

Jason_R
02-05-2010, 11:50 AM
I'm going through this process right now.

Do you have to have a location BEFORE you apply for anything?

If you're city doesn't allow retail sales at your home, how hard is it to MOVE your FFL to an area that does?

I'm going to do retail sales, but I'd prefer to NOT pay rent until I'm up and running if at all possible.

billslugg
02-06-2010, 8:54 AM
Yes, you must have your location settled before you apply.

An FFL is issued to a specific person at a specific location. If you want to change locations you need to have them endorse it to the new location for the remainder of the license period. They may require a new inspection. (27CFR478.52)

You cannot transfer your FFL to another person when selling a business. They have to get a whole new license. (27CFR478.51)

If you are deceased or in a bankruptcy, the ATF can transfer it and endorse it to the new owner for the remainder of the license period. (27CFR478.56)

If you want to change locations, then the new location has to undergo an inspection and qualify. If you want to have multiple locations (other than a warehouse) you need multiple FFL's. (27 CFR 478.94)

If your city allows a kitchen table gunsmith operation, then the ATF will grant you an FFL. If, later, you want to do sales, and the city or county will not allow that at your home, then you need to get a storefront and either transfer your license or get a second one.(27CFR478.50)

thetaxman
02-06-2010, 9:14 AM
I'm going through this process right now.

Do you have to have a location BEFORE you apply for anything?

If you're city doesn't allow retail sales at your home, how hard is it to MOVE your FFL to an area that does?

I'm going to do retail sales, but I'd prefer to NOT pay rent until I'm up and running if at all possible.

I'm going through the motions on a Type 07 (MFR) FFL. The biggest hurdle is the Business Permit from the City or County. Local ordinance where I live is clear that no Manufacturing can take place in a Residential Zone - like the Sac County Ordinance mentioned in an earlier post. However, the City is almost convinced that "assembly" is different from "manufacturing". As a back up, I can get a lease on a 200sq ft commercial space for around $300 a month close by to home.

Dealing with ATF is really easy and they made some great suggestions on the order to do things. However, they will NOT issue the 07 FFL without the Business Permit from the City. I have a 03 FFL, COE and BOE approvals already and so that helps.

So my guess for the right order is:

- Business Permit from City
- FFL
- All state requirements - COE, BOE, DoJ approvals etc
- Insurance
- Business bank account
- Business records, DROS paperwork etc, Tax, Accounting and Legal

I am also going to incorporate a CA LLC (and a NV LLC for other reasons). Lots of online folks who do this and they do actually do a good job for a few hundred bucks.

Don't go anywhere near the online FFL packs - they appear to be a straight copy of publically available info. If you have a question, call the local ATF office. They actually appreciate people asking questions and being proactive - I've worked with the same ATF agent and she has been a great resource.

Ona final note - don't overlook the business, tax, accounting and legal aspects. If you really are going to deal then get organized and understand what has to be filed with the state/IRS and when this has to happen. While I try not to screw with the Feds, the IRS can tale up a lot of time and money if you don't get it right. There are lots of local IRS offices that have the forms and calendars available you will need. Knowing how much money you owe in taxes means you can keep it in a separate account and not have a large tax bill at the end of each reporting period with no cash to settle it.

Jason_R
02-18-2010, 11:05 AM
Got another question...I don't know where to find the answer.

If I have an FFL in California, can I have a warehouse OUT OF STATE shipping firearms and accessories without first getting an FFL? The out-of-state warehouse would not have a retail shop.

kemasa
02-18-2010, 11:58 AM
Well, the BATF says that you can have firearms delivered to an alternate location, as long as you keep all the required records and I think keep a copy of the records at your business location. They did not say that it had to be in the same state. So, without checking, I would think that it would be acceptable, but in practice, I don't think that it would work. Most places will only ship to the premises address.

Jason_R
02-18-2010, 2:40 PM
Well, the BATF says that you can have firearms delivered to an alternate location, as long as you keep all the required records and I think keep a copy of the records at your business location. They did not say that it had to be in the same state. So, without checking, I would think that it would be acceptable, but in practice, I don't think that it would work. Most places will only ship to the premises address.

Good point. California sucks.

Another question. Has any FFL successfully gotten an assault weapon permit, machine gun permit, silencer permit and/or destructive device permit?

I ask because I'd like to sell to other states and law enforcement. I'd also like to start a carbine course for local officers.

billslugg
02-18-2010, 5:01 PM
Has any FFL successfully gotten an assault weapon permit, machine gun permit, silencer permit and/or destructive device permit?

Machine guns, silencers, Short-Barrel Rifles and Shotguns, and AOW (Any Other Weapons (ex: pen guns)) are all regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act and are referred to as NFA weapons. Any FFL can pay a Special Occupational Tax (SOT) and extend that FFL to cover NFA weapons. ($500 per year)

Destructive Devices are covered by 09 FFL, 10 FFL, 11 FFL which cover dealing, manufacturing and importing of Destructive Devices. ($500 a year)

All of the above are must issue, if you meet the requirements.

You can make destructive devices only for the government.

The laws on destructive devices are pretty serious. What many people do no know is that a Molotov cocktail is considered a destructive device. The penalties are just the same as for a howitzer, a mortar or a Abrams tank.

Jason_R
02-20-2010, 9:55 PM
Machine guns, silencers, Short-Barrel Rifles and Shotguns, and AOW (Any Other Weapons (ex: pen guns)) are all regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act and are referred to as NFA weapons. Any FFL can pay a Special Occupational Tax (SOT) and extend that FFL to cover NFA weapons. ($500 per year)

Destructive Devices are covered by 09 FFL, 10 FFL, 11 FFL which cover dealing, manufacturing and importing of Destructive Devices. ($500 a year)

All of the above are must issue, if you meet the requirements.

You can make destructive devices only for the government.

The laws on destructive devices are pretty serious. What many people do no know is that a Molotov cocktail is considered a destructive device. The penalties are just the same as for a howitzer, a mortar or a Abrams tank.

I understand the laws federally, but I'm asking if California will issue the AW/MG/Destructive Device permits.

Civilians can buy Colt and LMT M203s, so I'm not sure you can't manufacture DODs for government use only.

ke6guj
02-21-2010, 1:14 AM
I understand the laws federally, but I'm asking if California will issue the AW/MG/Destructive Device permits. CADOJ issues those permits on an highly-restricted, may-issue basis.

Civilians can buy Colt and LMT M203s, so I'm not sure you can't manufacture DODs for government use only.I think you mean DD's, not DOD's. Yes, if you have the proper licensing, you can make DDs for sale to .mil, .gov, or the public.

Jason_R
02-21-2010, 12:00 PM
So how do I obtain a assault weapons / hi-cap mag permit? I would have a valid business in them (LE sales, etc).

ke6guj
02-21-2010, 1:44 PM
look here, http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/dwcl/dwforms.php