Getting a Business License

Posted by Logan Marshall on August 25 in 0. PreBusiness Considerations |

Business Licenses and other permits.

When you are caught up in the general excitement of setting up a new business it is sometimes easy to forget about business licenses and permits, however, a business license is the piece of paper that grants you legal permission to operate a business the state or city that you operate from and if you do not have one from the beginning you could find yourself in a very difficult position.

Considerations for business licenses.

Many people believe that obtaining a business license is a mere formality, and if you do your homework and set your business up according to that homework then it will certainly be a relatively easy task but if you go into the entire process blind through a lack of research then it could prove much more difficult than you think. If you are in doubt then your best bet is to either consult a lawyer who understands the state requirements for your type of business or begin with the business license department in your state and ask them as many questions as you have. Usually they will help you as much as they can because it makes their job much easier in the long run.


. Before you pick and purchase a location for your business you should ensure that it is suitably zoned for the type of business you intend to set up, and if it isn’t enquire with the business license department whether you would be able to obtain a conditional use permit that would allow it. Check there are enough parking spaces because this and the zoning element are the first two factors that the state will check when you file a business license application. Obviously if you are setting up a company on your own and you won’t be attracting customers to your premises then this shouldn’t be a problem, but do your homework.

Other permits.

As well as your business license there are other permits you should and may be required to get before you can operate as a business. A lot of these permits are dependent on the type of business you run, for instance if you intend to burn any materials you should seek to obtain an air and water pollution control permit, or if you will be storing any flammable substances then you should get a fire department permit.

There are a large number of licenses and permits that you may need to obtain, although a home based office business is unlikely to need many more than the business license. It is important that you check exactly which licenses you will need because a failure to have permits can lead to fines or worse still, the temporary or permanent closure of your business.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/0,4621,287926,00.html has a list of the most common licenses and permits you may need and is an excellent place to start finding out which you will need.

http://www.business.gov/phases/launching/licenses_permits/index.html is the government page that gives advice and knowledge on licenses and permits you will require for your new business.

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