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Many of us dream of owning our own business someday. One way to do this is to resell various products and solutions for cell phones from service providers such as AT & T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint. As a cell phone distributor, you will earn monthly commissions from individual or business clients that you activate with the service provider. You can also earn profits from the cell phone accessories you sell. Although all these companies are different, the process to become a cell phone distributor is the same.
Go to the business registration office and register the name you want to give yours. Select a name that reflects the nature of your business. Get a DBA or Assumed Name certificate. Visit the website of your state comptroller or call your telephone number to incorporate your business if you prefer to operate it as a corporation. Get your Article of incorporation. Get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you hire employees.
Visit your local bank and open a corporate account using your DBA or certificate of incorporation. Cell phone service providers require that you have a corporate account in the bank. Open a merchant account with your bank. This allows your business to accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards. You will lose a lot of customers if you do not offer this service.
Research online cell phone providers such as T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon (see the Resources section). Visit your stores and take note of the available equipment. Ask about the commission structure, monthly revolving (frequency and size of reimbursements), training and technical support. Familiarize yourself with the design of your stores, the furniture and equipment you need for your store such as shelves, desks, fax machines, computers and telephone lines.
Visit the stores available in your area. Contact owners when you locate appropriate spaces for your business and get more information, including size and monthly rent. Contact the cellular service provider by visiting their website or calling their toll-free numbers. Get and fill out the dealership application forms. The service provider will contact you directly or direct you to your main distributors such as American Wireless.
Complete, sign and send the concession authorization forms sent by the cell phone service provider of your choice to the main distributor. You need to complete the forms with each service provider. Submit your registration and business certificate (DBA or article of incorporation), financial statements, business and marketing plans and banking information when requested. Wait for cell service providers to approve your requests. Attend training classes to learn the marketing techniques they use for their products and services.
Notify service providers about available premises and request their approval. Sign leases with property owners once the service provider approves your concession request and store location. Contact your local telephone service provider and contract the telephone service. Hire a DSL or broadband service with a dedicated IP address. The cell phone company requires that you have broadband services with a dedicated IP protocol address in your store. Contact the cell phone provider to order and pay for the equipment.
Open your business Receive your cell phones and ads sent by the service provider. Accommodate the equipment at your counters. Place your ads in strategic locations throughout your store. Inform customers of the new plans provided by the various cell phone service companies.
Make sure you have enough funds to cover three months of your business expenses before becoming a cell phone distributor. This amount varies depending on the costs of the site. Service providers do not require this but it could take too much for your business to start generating some profit. Depending on the size of your cell phone concessionaire, you may need to hire some employees. Make sure you get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you hire employees or your business will be incorporated. Otherwise, your Social Security number will be sufficient. Attend training classes provided by the service provider to learn how they advertise their products and services.
Cell phone service providers do not require you to insure your business, but it is good practice to have ample coverage against fire, flood, wind or theft. Your property insurance does not cover your business operation. Do not sign any lease until service providers approve the location.