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Many people purchase religious items to decorate their homes and offices or to give to others as gifts on special occasions, particularly on religious holidays. Religious items can serve as visual reminders of spiritual beliefs as well as inspire people and give them comfort in times of trouble. Selling these articles can be a lucrative business when you know what you're doing. Setting up a retail business requires a variety of steps before you're up and running, but once you are, there's no limit to what you can achieve.
Investigate the laws in your state that govern sales of retail items.
Obtain a vendor's license to report any sales tax you collect as well as a federal tax identification number to report the income from your business on your federal tax return.
Decide on the quantity and type of items you want to sell by identifying your target market audience. Consider selling items for a variety of religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and others, to appeal to the widest variety of buyers.
Locate a wholesale dealer to purchase your products from. Choose vendors that require your vendor's license number or other business details before they reveal pricing. Avoid "wholesalers" who advertise prices and sell to anyone, as they may not be legitimate.
Locate a venue to sell your products in, such as flea markets, church bazaars and holiday craft shows. Consider a permanent retail location or an online store as other possibilities.
Advertise your wares. Place ads in church bulletins, religious newsletters and on religious websites. Place a classified ad in the religious section of your local newspaper as well.
Realize that you don't have to be a member of any particular religion to sell those articles.
Leave your business card at several religious organizations where members may be interested in your products.
Realize that your business is not tax-exempt. While churches and other religious organizations do not typically pay income tax, retail businesses are taxable no matter what products they sell.