Thread: Thinking of FFL
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Old December 8, 2011, 01:33 PM   #5
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Join Date: February 10, 2010
Posts: 720

The application fee for the 01 FFL is $200. Other licenses the cost vary. Its around 90 to renew I think, I dont have a renewel form with me to confirm the fee. On top of that would be your local business license, which could be $10 bucks and up. Mine was around $200 a year I believe. Beyond that its just collecting and reporting the sales tax. Other cost, such as overhead, insurance, and record keeping are also cost that vary but is a part of doing business. Also you may be required to pay ITAR each year depending on what you are doing. The ITAR fee is $1750 a year I believe. Thats the rough basics as far as the feds are concerned. Beyond that its the state and local cost of business license etc, as well as the normal business expenses.

Keep in mind with the industry in the shape it is in, every other dealer is willing to cut the others throat for a loss in profit it seems, I would not look at starting a firearms business as a true business venture. The people I have known that have an FFL and do well, are those that the FFL business is only a smaller part of the overall business. Kinda like a convenience store. A convenience store sells gas at or close to cost, just to get people inside to buy items with a higher mark-up. Anyone seeking to start a business dealing with firearms needs to understand mark-up and that the break even point isnt $0, its a percentage of the item, but varies with each business.

Frankly, and I know I am in a slim minority with my opinion, a $15-$35 buck fee for an appointment and transfer fee is very low compared to other occupations. If one gets an appointment with a lawyer, I would say $100 an hour up. If I want an appointment to get my haircut its around $50 bucks, if I want to go to a regular babershop and wait in line its $20. While I know and understand that money is tight and people always want the best deal. If your going to be in business, you need to make a profit, or else you might as well just start handing out a few bucks to every other person, because in a failing business, thats about what your doing. Slowly giving away and going broke.

I suggest to anyone considering an FFL do not look to only sell firearms and ammo as the main source of business. Sell other items as well, such as out door supplies, tents, backpacks, clothing, etc. Diversify! A business is an investment, so treat it as such. Plain and simple. If you want to do it as a small side business, I would not expect to make that much money just off of transfer fees.

Folks, dont get me wrong, I am all for saving money...But there comes a point to where it just doesnt work from a business stand point. Im speaking purely on the business side. I also understand that sometimes you have to give away alittle at times to get future business, but you need to ensure you are going to be in business in the future to recoup the loss.

Below is a chart from

Type FeeDescription
---- ----- ----------------------------------------------------------
01 $200/ - Dealer, Including Pawnbroker, in Firearms Other than
$90 Destructive Devices
[Note: $200 for initial license; $90 for subsequent
03 $30 - Collector of Curios and Relics
06 $30 - Manufacturer of Ammunition for Firearms Other than
Ammunition for Destructive Devices or Armor Piercing
07 $150 - Manufacturer of Firearms other than Destructive Devices
08 $150 - Importer of Firearms other than Destructive Devices or
Ammunition for Firearms other than Destructive Devices, or
Ammunition other than Armor Piercing Ammunition
09 $3000 - Dealer in Destructive Devices
10 $3000 - Manufacturer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for
Destructive Devices or Armor Piercing Ammunition
11 $3000 - Importer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for
Destructive Devices or Armor Piercing Ammunition

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; December 8, 2011 at 01:54 PM.
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