Here is a google-group that serves as a mailing list (bhamhackerspace[at}googlegroupsdotcom): https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/RedMountainMakers
- Electronics Lab simulation runs your circuit
- SparkFun all sparkfun designed boards are open source with schematics provided
- DIPTrace easy to use free version for non-profit use
materials and tools
- Harbor Freight Tools (in birmingham)
- McMaster Tools - great for everything including raw materials, parts, tools, and equipment
- ShopBot Tools
- Woodcraft has local store goto for woodworking
- Adafruit and Sparkfruit are great for people who are starting out or who are intermediate. They have great information, helpful suggestions and great support forums. They have a lot of eletronic stuff, as well as soft circuitry and some other hobbyist things (like arduino boards) that your average elctronics supply place would not have. But their selection as far as general electronics (resistors, leds, battery holders, batteries, switches, etc.) is somewhat limited to the types of things you would need for certain projects... and the small stuff is usually a little more "retail" priced through them.
- Octopart search many sources for availability, pricing, datasheets by part number
- Mouser is excellent for straight up electronics. The search function there is absolutely fantastic. Always check spec sheets because occasionally the "product page" info is wrong.
- Digikey is similar.
- Electronics Goldmine has a lot of mixed packs of things.
- All-Electronics Similar to the Goldmine better organization
- Jameco more pricey than Mouser or Digikey but can find some things considered obsolete by the others. Also has good kits and tutorials.
- http://openlibrary.org/ just posted a machine shop manual
- Open source software cross-reference with equivalent commercial packages. Site is a bit outdated - use with caution.
- Free Software Foundation directory & wiki.
Makerspace Business Models
- Making Makerpsaces: Creating a Business Model
- The difference between hackerspaces, makerspaces, techshops and fablabs
How to start a makerspace
- How to start a hackerspace - series of instructional links at AdaFruit.
Sample Business Plans
- Student paper study of the hacker ecosystem as a model for a for-profit space Of interest because it looks at so many different hackerspaces.
- General start-up checklist Order of operations for getting an organization started.
- MakerSpace handbook
- How to start a hackerspace checklist
Types of Commercial Leases
Alabama and Birmingham Liscences Required
- From Small Business Administration page - Alabama Zip Code 35212
- Step 1: Tax Registration
Employer Identification Number (EIN) Employers with employees, business partnerships, and corporations, must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The EIN is also known as an Employer Tax ID and Form SS-4. U.S. Internal Revenue ServicePhone: 1-800-829-4933 Guide to the Employer Identification Number Apply Online Alabama Tax Registration Businesses that operate within Alabama are required to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses or permits, including income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller's permit), and unemployment insurance tax. Contact the following agency for more information about business registration and your tax obligations: Business Tax Registration General Tax Information and Forms Back to Top Step 2: Business Licenses
General Business Licenses Information about how to obtain business and occupational licenses and permits. Business Licensing Information Center Professional and Occupational Licenses Back to Top Step 3: Local Permits
You may be required to apply for permits and licenses from your local government (e.g., city or county). Every place has different requirements. The following are common types of local permits and licenses. Business Licenses / Tax Permits - from your city or county clerk or revenue department. Many jurisdictions require a trader's license or tax certificate in order to operate. Building Permit - from your city or county building and planning department. This permit is generally required if you are constructing or modifying your place of business. Health Permit - from your city or county health department. Occupational Permit - from your city or county building and planning development department. This permit is required for home-based business in some jurisdictions. Signage Permit - from your city or county building and planning department. Some jurisdictions require a permit before you can erect a sign for your business. Alarm Permit - from you city or county police or fire department. If you have installed a burglar or fire alarm, you will likely need an alarm permit. Zoning Permit - from your city or county building and planning department. This permit is generally required if you are developing land for specific commercial use. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need other types of licenses specific to your business. Check with the following local government(s) for more information: Birmingham, AL Jefferson County, AL Back to Top Step 4: Incorporation Filing
If your business is a corporation, a non-profit, a limited liability company or a partnership (limited, or limited liability) you must register with the following state agency. If your business is a sole proprietorship, you do not need to register your business with the state. However, many states require a sole proprietor to use their own name for the business name unless they formally file another name as a trade name, or fictitious name. Business Entity Registration - Forms and Applications Back to Top Step 5: Doing Business As (DBA)
A fictitious name filing, also known as Doing Business As or DBA, allows you to create name for your business that is different than your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation. Alabama does not require businesses to register a fictitious name. However, businesses may elect to register a trade name with the Secretary of State. Back to Top Step 6: Employer Requirements
This section describes basic registration requirements for businesses with employees. If you are a new employer, check out Ten Steps to Hiring Your First Employee Withholding Income Taxes The IRS states that you must keep records of employment taxes for at least four years. Also, keep good records for your business to help you monitor the progress of your business, prepare your financial statements, identify source of receipts, keep track of deductible expenses, prepare your tax returns, and support items reported on tax returns. Federal Income Tax Withholding (Form W-4) Every employee must provide an employer with a signed withholding exemption certificate (Form W-4) on or before the date of employment. The employer must then submit Form W-4 to the IRS to ensure. For specific information on employer responsibilities regarding withholding of federal taxes, read the IRS' Employer's Tax Guide. Federal Wage and Tax Statement (Form W-2) On an annual basis, employers must report to the federal government wages paid and taxes withheld for each employee. This report is filed using Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Employers must complete a Form W-2 for each employee to whom they pay a salary, wage, or other compensation. Employers must send Copy A of Forms W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) to the Social Security Administration (SSA) by the last day of February (or last day of March if you file electronically) to report the wages and taxes of your employees for the previous calendar year. In addition, employers should send copies of Form W-2 to their employees by January 31 of the year following the reporting period. Visit the Social Security Administration's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions and Information for further guidance and assistance. State Taxes Depending on the state where your employees are located, you may be required to withhold state income taxes. Visit your state tax agency for further information. Back to Top Employee Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form) Employees hired after November 6, 1986 must provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States. Federal law requires employers to verify an employee's eligibility to work in the United States. Within three days of hire employers must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form, commonly referred to as an I-9 form. Download Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) All U.S. employers are responsible for completion and retention of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States, including citizens and non-citizens. Instructions for Completing the I-9: Handbook for Employers A comprehensive guideline for completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Small Business Guide to Immigration Regulations Provides a summary of immigration laws most important to small business owners, including information about completing the I-9 form. New Hire Reporting All employers are required to report newly and re-hired employees to their state's Directory of New Hires within 20 days of their hire or re-hire data. Report New Hires Back to Top Insurance Requirements Unemployment Insurance Tax Businesses with employees are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes under certain conditions. If your business is required to pay these taxes, you must register your business with your state's workforce agency: Get Unemployment Tax Requirements Workers' Compensation Insurance Businesses with employees are required to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the state Workers' Compensation Insurance program. Find Workers' Comp Requirements For guidance on obtaining general business and liability insurance, visit the Business Insurance Guide Back to Top Workplace Poster Requirements Employers are required by state and federal laws to prominently display certain posters in the workplace that inform employees of their rights and employer responsibilities under labor laws. Federal Posters The U.S. Department of Labor provides the following resources and tools to help employers obtain required posters: Workplace Poster Requirements for Small Businesses Concise guide to all federal labor poster requirements Poster Advisor A step-by-step guide to help employers understand poster requirements. State Posters Obtain workplace posters required under state labor laws: Get Workplace Posters
City of Birmingham business license
- City tax office
- Business license general information
- What documentation to bring
- Articles of incorporation from the state of Alabama
- Copy of driver's license for all current officers
- 501(3)c certification
- Note: We are not automatically exempt from paying City of Birmingham business taxes as a non-profit corporation. Exemptions are made on a case-by-case basis. We have one year to file the application of the business license from the official day we started renting. So, this must be done by February 2015.
- Open source organizer's database tools
- List of sources for grants and application tools
- Tips for non-profits accepting donations
- Non-profit performance tools
- Travel radius mapping tool
- 25-minute driving radius map
- Alabama Association of Non-Profits - resources.
- National Council of Non-Profits
- Open source Seltzer CRM for membership management
- Information and tips regarding insurance, making a space safe for minors, best board practices and more
Bigger Better Meeting Space (when needed)
- Jame Harris Insurance Agency - insures Maker Local 256 for around $300/year.
- Article in Makezine focusing on Insurance for Makerspaces. Read this - it covers the meat of what we need.
- Non-profit organization and volunteer liability, including for the State of Alabama
- See Insurance page for required documentation for getting insurance
- For schools and student activities
- From Adafruit: Another form of revenue for projects is applying for grants from places such as science foundations, universities, companies, individuals, or even government agencies. In the grantmaking world, there are people who have projects they want to see done whose goals and ideas might align with yours. There are many places to look review this grant organisation list at Science Magazine for a great start. Some might be simple search engine query away. Keep in mind that grantwriting can be a lot of work in many cases, and there are professionals that specialize in grant writing.
Filing Tax Return
Local Venture Assistance
Makerspace Media Coverage
- Makerspaces as venture launches - Miami area
- Maker faires - note major corporate sponsorship, Disney, Ford