The ShopKeep Speaks!
All about Sales Tax

Collecting sales tax for your new business can be tricky and I can’t stress enough how important it is to collect sales tax properly and pay on time. It is the business’ responsibility to make the proper payment and remit to the collector on time. They will likely not remind you when payment is due, but you can be sure you will pay penalties when your payment is late!

The municipality and state tax are frequently bundled into one tax payment but this varies by every tax jurisdiction. It is important you become familiar with the local tax laws where your store is located. There are several good free resources online to do this, for instance,, where you simply enter your zip code to calculate your sales tax rate. The site could not be easier to use.

Wikipedia has the best comprehensive breakdown of local tax laws here

No matter where you find your information online, check with your tax authority to verify the information is correct. My three stores are in New York State and so I contacted the New York State Dept. of Taxation and Finance to determine exactly when payments were due and where to send them.

As you get going with your business, you may want to consider using a point of sale system to help you keep track of your tax liability. It saves time and money by helping you calculate correctly the first time. 

Stay tuned for more entries about starting a retail store in our series, The ShopKeep speaks. 



Yelp is a great way to get involved with conversations customers are having about your business. It’s a forum where real-life customers and members of your community can review and comment on your livelihood, so you’d better be involved. 

To get started go here, unlock your business listing by setting up your “Business owner account” on then verify your information with a quick phone call placed to your store. You can also select the “Is this your business” link from your existing business page any time.

Then go to your Yelp Business Owners account and start interacting with customers both publicly and privately. You can add photos, descriptions, operating hours and lots more. 

Furthermore, is a great place to advertise your business to potential customers who can enter search terms and search for places to eat, shop or visit.