Como vender en Internet en Puerto Rico

How to sell on the Internet in Puerto Rico

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In Puerto Rico, electronic commerce has had an indisputable growth. According to the study " 2017 Digital & Mobile Behavioral Study " conducted by the Association of Sales and Marketing Executives of Puerto Rico (SME for its acronym in English), some 807,000 people make purchases online and spend an average of $158 per year per person . According to these data in Puerto Rico, online purchases would be about $127 million USD and represent an increase of 13% compared to $112 million in 2016. These are interesting data for a country with a population of only about 3.5 million people.

What do you need to establish a business in Puerto Rico?

To establish any business in Puerto Rico, be it a physical store or online, you need to do several steps. Here is a list of some but always remember to consult with a tax law professional.

  • Business registration : You must decide what the business structure is going to be, if you are going to register a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company or a Corporation. Consult with a professional if you should start the business as a corporation or if you can start as a sole proprietorship. One of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make is that they join when it is not necessary, without knowing the obligations that it entails and end up spending money unnecessarily. Orient yourself well with a professional before deciding how to register your business.
  • Obtain Employer Identification Number (Form SS-4 from the IRS Federal Internal Revenue Service Office) : This procedure is mandatory for companies that employ more than one person, but it is recommended that even if it is an individual business, obtain the employer identification number. employer identification to avoid jeopardizing your personal social security number.
  • Merchant Registration and Sales and Use Tax (IVU) Registration : This certification is obtained from the Department of the Treasury. You can get it on the internet .
  • Municipal Patents : These are obtained at the Finance Office of the Municipality where the business operates.

Once you have legally established your business in Puerto Rico, you must open a commercial bank account at your preferred institution. It is always advisable to separate your personal bank account from that of the business to avoid future problems in the event of a tax audit.

What is needed to sell online in Puerto Rico?

Once your business is legally established, you must start working on your business strategy. This involves deciding which tools you are going to use to run your business. There are many accessible tools to make your business successful.

  • Platform - There are several platforms that you could use to run your online store. You should look for one that is easy to use and that you can seamlessly integrate with other services and apps so that you can improve the operation of your store. The Shopify platform is very easy to use, and it has hundreds of applications that you can integrate to help you with your products, sales, marketing, accounting, customer service, and much more. You can try Shopify free for 14 days . You must also buy your domain so that you have your own web address. Shopify also makes this easier for you.
  • Payment System - Once you open your store you must add the payment gateways that you are going to offer in your store. With the Shopify platform in Puerto Rico you can work with most of the payment gateways available in the United States . Among them is Shopify Payments which is a native Shopify payment gateway and allows you to accept payments in your store with most credit cards. Another benefit of Shopify Payments is that you can use the Shopify POS app to process sales you make in person and charge credit cards to your customers.
  • Inventory Management - Inventory management will depend on the business model you have for your store. You can have your inventory in your warehouse and send it directly to your customer. You could also use a service like Fullfilment by Amazon (FBA) , which involves sending your wholesale inventory to Amazon for them to handle fulfillment and shipping. Another option is to operate your store with the "Dropshipping" method with which you do not need to have the products in your warehouse. When your store sells the product, you buy it from someone else (supplier or manufacturer) and they ship it directly to your customer. With this method you never see the product but you serve as an intermediary.

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Should I collect the Sales and Use Tax (IVU) in my online store?

Many people have doubts regarding this topic. In Puerto Rico, as in physical stores, sales made over the internet to customers in Puerto Rico are subject to the payment of the Sales and Use Tax (IVU) of 11.5% (10.5% State and 1% Municipal). In the case of sales to customers outside of Puerto Rico, these are regularly not subject to the payment of the SUT. We recommend that you consult a tax professional on this matter before you start selling to avoid future problems.

How do I ship the products to the customer?

There are several ways to handle our sales shipments. If the inventory of your products is in Puerto Rico, you can hire from among several shipping providers such as USPS , FedEx , UPS for shipments to Puerto Rico and International and Island Wide for shipments to Puerto Rico. These providers allow you to open an account with them to be able to coordinate the collection in your warehouse and the delivery of the product to your client in a short time. If you have a physical store, you can include the service of buying online and pick up in store, where you can offer some discount and possibly the customer buys a few more items on his trip to the store.

How do I get my potential customers to visit my online store?

The next step is to reach your potential customers and have them enter your online store. You must develop your digital marketing plan to promote your store, achieve visits and finally sales. The Shopify blog has published many articles on how to build a marketing plan and many other articles on how to use blogging, SEO, and social media to increase traffic to your store.

No store is the same as another or its public. That is why it is important that you research about your potential customers, what pages they frequent, what social networks they use and what type of content they prefer in order to adapt your strategy accordingly. This way you can get to know your client better and you can be successful in your new business.

This article was originally published on the Shopify blog in Spanish . You can access it here.

2 comments

Edgar Rodriguez

Edgar Rodriguez

Interesante

Interesante

Liberate062@yahoo.com

Liberate062@yahoo.com

Me interesa sprender mas

Me interesa sprender mas

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