How to Become a Computer Distributor

Written by peyton brookes
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Computer distributors sell computers they build or purchase from wholesalers and other companies. Computer distributors may sell their products online or from a traditional storefront. Several computer manufacturers like Dell and Hewlett Packard offer Value Added Reseller (VAR) programs. The Internet makes it simple to drop-ship computer systems from wholesalers to customers, limiting your on-site inventory. A fundamental requirement for becoming a distributor is that you must be a registered business and obtain a sales license.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Legally registered business name
  • Sales and use tax license
  • Functioning website

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  1. 1

    Determine how you would like to register your business. Several options exist, including registering as a limited liability company, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Consult an attorney and accountant or research the tax and personal liability implications.

  2. 2

    Select a business name. Search your state’s registered business database to ensure the business name is not already registered.

  3. 3

    Complete an Internet domain name search for your business name. This not only helps brand your business online but some reseller programs, like Hewlett Packard, require your e-mail domain name to match your business name.

  4. 4

    Complete the forms required to register your business in your state. Submit the forms along with any fees.

  5. 5

    Contact your state’s tax entity to request a sales and use tax license. The state assesses sales tax on retail sales. Each purchase you process should include sales tax. The total percentage varies by state.

  1. 1

    Determine how you would like to obtain the computers you will sell. You can purchase complete systems from a wholesale company, through a VAR or build your own.

  2. 2

    Contact computer wholesalers like Evertek or OutletPC. Sign up for their reseller programs if required. Wholesalers provide complete systems, parts and bare-bones systems.

  3. 3

    Contact companies like Hewlett-Packard and Dell to find out about their programs. There is an application process to become an authorised reseller.

  1. 1

    Build a commerce website with shopping trolley technology, where your customers can browse your products and purchase items.

  2. 2

    Include a method for payment processing. The easiest way to get started is with PayPal. PayPal will let your customers pay with a credit card.

  3. 3

    Process your orders as required by the companies you receive hardware from. For example, some companies drop-ship the items directly to your customer. You collect payment, pay the shipper and keep the profit.

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