How to Get an FFL Without a Business

How to Get an FFL Without a Business? Do you want to start your own firearms business but don’t have the funds to start or operate one? There’s nothing to be concerned about! Getting an FFL doesn’t have to include purchasing your own company.  Here’s how to get an FFL without investing in a firearms business.

What is an FFL? 

FFL is an acronym for Federal Firearms License, for people who are unfamiliar with the process of purchasing a firearm.  An FFL is required for most gun sellers; it’s a license that allows you to sell firearms at your place of business. Without one, you can’t run an official gun shop. If you’re serious about buying guns and want a real job in that industry, you’ll need an FFL—but they aren’t easy to get. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is strict about who it let’s sell firearms legally; there are few opportunities for people without experience or training in law enforcement or security sales.

How do I get an FFL? 

First, you need to determine whether or not it’s feasible for you. If you don’t have any experience running your own business, or if there are no available licenses for gun dealers in your state, it may not be possible for you. Start working on your application as soon as possible after this point. You will have to fill out ATF Form 7 (5320.1) and submit that with a passport-style photo, passport photos of all officers/principals of your business, and a $200 fee per license being applied for (there are additional fees). ATF has 45 days from the date of receipt of your application to approve or refuse it. 

What are the requirements for getting an FFL? 

It’s pretty simple: you need a place to do business, and that place has to be appropriately zoned. You also have to have $200,000 in capital and an acceptable plan for safely storing guns. Beyond that, there are no requirements for who gets these licenses. There are no age limits, but there is a requirement that anyone selling firearms must be at least 18 years old. No education or training is required; even if you’ve never touched a gun before in your life, you can still get licensed. Since there are so few restrictions on who gets licensed and how they operate, it’s little wonder that we see so many problems with gun dealers.

Without a company, can I apply for an FFL? 

While getting an FFL without a business is possible, that route is generally reserved for non-profit organizations and trusts. A business entity is required before you may apply for a licence.  You can start building your business before applying for your license or build it after—you can’t start before. Any good manufacturer (or importer) has three primary responsibilities: responsible manufacturing, storing, and record keeping. The type of records you keep will vary based on what type of company you run—what products you make and sell, what employees do your work with—but ultimately, all manufacturers are required by federal law to keep accurate records of their manufacturing process and how/where their products are sold.

In order to get an FFL, what are the advantages? 

It is possible if you want to buy and sell firearms as your primary business but don’t have a brick-and-mortar location. You will need to first apply for an FFL using Form 7 (the same form used by non-storefront businesses) and then use Form 6 (used by remote sellers without storefronts) instead of Form 4. In addition, while remote sellers who only sell firearms at gun shows must be invited into each gun show by one of its organizers, someone with no storefront can sell guns at any gun show. But if you plan on operating strictly online or out of your home, you cannot obtain an FFL for those activities.

What are some hoops I need to jump through to get an FFL? 

The federal firearm license application process is pretty straightforward, but it does require some steps. You must apply for your license through the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), providing fingerprints and photographs along with your application. Although these applications aren’t prohibitively expensive, there are fees involved ranging from $30 for an applicant between 18-and 20 years old to $200 for applicants older than 75. Applicants must also complete ATF form 7CR before applying for their license, which involves listing all of their past residences in reverse chronological order over any previous 30-day period or during the last five years if they have resided at those locations less than 30 days during that period.

Are there any FFLs available to me without a business? 

The only way to get an FFL without a business is if you already have one. That’s how licensees got in that position in the first place, by having another business already. If you’re starting from scratch—and not making any profit yet—you can try selling your products at gun shows and other informal settings where private sellers can display and sell their firearms for cash sales. You can also try contacting licensed dealers or pawn shops looking for part-time employees or contract workers. Of course, none of these are surefire methods of obtaining your license—but they’re all avenues that require much less investment and commitment than setting up a whole new business enterprise.

What should I do if I find out my state doesn’t have an FFL requirement?

Several states do not require an FFL for all firearms, but you still need a license or permit from your state to purchase and possess these items. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) encourages those who may be affected by these requirements to check with their local law enforcement agency. Some counties may still require a license, while others may accept another form of documentation such as concealed carry permits or out-of-state licenses. For specific information on licensing procedures in your area, contact your state’s Department of Justice office.

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