Applying for licenses and permits for your business.
When you are staring your own business you should not forget to explore and investigate the requirement for various licenses and permits.
It is better to take care of these things before you start your business rather than later.
Not taking care of these things right from the beginning is a common mistake that many entrepreneurs make. It is a mistake that you might have to pay for later. It is easy to get embroiled in other things that you have to do when starting a business and forget about this small bureaucratic point. The fact is that in order to operate certain businesses, you probably need a permit and license from your county or state. In fact some licenses and permits can be costly and hard to get.
You need to adjust the cost for getting a license for your business in your startup budget as well.
It is important to find out in the beginning what kind of license or permit you require to start a business. Otherwise your business could suffer and even stop to function right in the middle of its inception and growing stage.
You do not want your business to become a success only to get shut down by the county when you discover that you don’t have the proper license or permit.
Not having the proper license can also lead to heavy fines and restrictions on a business. It can result in lawsuits from suppliers or employees and even problems with the internal revenue service. In this section we will discuss the most common kinds of licenses and permits that a business owner may need and where you can go for further information.
Signage Permits for a Business
Some cities and counties have regulation that governs the kind of signs that you can use for your business. These are called sign ordinances and restrict the size, location and type of business sign that you can use. Certain landlords in some localities may impose their own restriction. Before you go ahead and spend money to get yourself an expensive sign made and designed and installed, check the regulations and get written approval from the county or your landlord in order to avoid problems in the future.
County Government Business Permits
County permits are pretty much the same as the city permits and licenses. County governments usually applied to businesses that fall outside any cities or towns jurisdiction. Usually, county regulations are not as strict as those of adjoining cities.
State Business Licenses
In many states people of certain occupants occupations have to get licenses from state to practice and occupation. Sometimes they have to pass state examinations before they can get these permits and conduct resistance. Examples of people who are required to get licensing from state include electricians, automobile mechanics, building contractors, plumbers, real estate brokers, collection agents, insurance agents, repossessors and anybody who provides personal service for example barbers, cosmetologists, doctors and nurses. Contact the state government office to get a complete list of occupations that require licensing.
Federal Business Licenses
In most cases you do not have to deal with getting a federal license for your business. Federal licenses are usually reserved for major businesses in the field of publications such as radio and TV station as well as meat processors and finance investment and advisory services.
Health Department License for a Business
The health Department permit is usually required if you intend to start a food business where you supply either directly to customers or to wholesalers. In this case you need a county health department permit which costs about $25-$150 typically. The cost of the health Department permit for food business will depend upon the size of business as well as the complicity of the equipment and size of production. The health department will inspect the facilities before issuing government.
Fire Department permit For a Business
In many counties and cities you usually need a permit from the fire department only if your business uses any flammable materials or your business is open to public. However, an inspection by the fire department for approval is mandatory in most areas. In some cities you might have to do this even before you open for business. Certain cities require scheduled Inspections of your business to see if you meet fire safety regulations. If you don’t you’ll be issued a citation.
Public businesses such as theaters, restaurants, nightclubs, retirement homes, day care centers and anywhere where a number of people conglomerate are subject especially close scrutiny by the fire department. These places are expected to adhere strictly to fire department regulations and laws.
Air and Water Pollution Control License for a Business
Recently there has been the development of several departments which take care of the air and water pollution caused by businesses in the city. If you own any material, discharge anything into the sewers or waterways or use products that produce gas you have to get a special license from the department in your city or county.
Environmental protection regulations may also require you to get approval before beginning construction or beginning operation as well. Check with your state Environmental Protection Agency regarding federal or state regulations that might apply to your business.
Liquor, Wine and Beer Licenses of a business.
A license to serve liquor and specially hard alcohol is probably the most difficult to get. In almost all circumstances you get one set of license to serve wine and beer and another to serve hard liquor. Out of these license to serve hard liquor is more difficult to get.
In certain states you cannot apply for new alcohol license at all.
All you can do is try and purchase an existing license from an existing license holder. This means that although the original license may cost less than hundred dollars, going price of the re-sold liquor license may range from couple of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars depending upon the competition and the location of the business. It is an important point to bear in mind if you are planning to start a restaurant business and are buying an existing restaurant from someone. If that restaurant already served liquor, you may be able to acquire the license as a part of the deal which will save you further trouble.
If you can apply for new licenses in your area you should file an application with the state beverage control board and post a notice on the premise of your business that you intend to sell liquor. In certain states beverage control Board requires liquor license holders to keep records of all purchases for a certain number of years which are subject to inspection by the beverage control Board or the Internal Revenue Service during that time.
You can find numbers for the nearest alcohol beverage control agency by checking out the blue government pages in a telephone directory. The alcohol beverage control board can give you the information that you require about the kind of licenses that you’re looking for and how you can go about getting one for your business.
Applying for a business license. Some fields of work as well as areas require you to get a license to operate.
Several counties or states or cities may require you to get a license before you are allowed to operate in the city limits. You can contact the city’s business license department to find out if you need to get a license before you start your business. There are few departments and issues that come into consideration when a person starting a business. For example, when you file your application for the business license, the city planning or zoning department will make sure that your area is zoned for the business purpose and field of your business. For example, if your business case requires incoming and outgoing of a lot of people including employees and customers, the city planning commission will ensure that there is enough parking space. Usually if you start a business in an area which houses several businesses or start an office in a building which has housed similar businesses in the past, you’re likely to get a business license.
You cannot operate in an area that does not allow for your kind of business to start or in other words an area that is not zoned for your type of business. In this case you will need to get a variance or conditional use permit. You need to present your queries before the planning commission in your city and as long as the planning commission can establish that your business will not interfere with the normal day-to-day life, convenience and setup of the neighborhood, you’ll get your license. Business licenses are not very difficult to get unless they stand to disrupt or cause discomfiture and inconvenience in the neighborhood.
You should especially be careful about investigating zoning ordinances and regulations if you plan to start a business at home.
While a home-based business can go under the radar for some time, residents may create and raise an objection in the future just when your business is beginning to do well. The reason is that residential areas usually have stripped some regulation is preventing the use of home for running a business. Even so it might be possible to get a conditional use permit for your home-based business.
You can find out which licenses and permits are required for your business by calling the state in and local government office in the area where going to operate. Ask them to send you information and any forms that may be required to start.
Running a business under a Fictious name. Business license for fictious name, ‘doing business as’, DBA.
A license or permit for doing business as only applies to sole proprietorships and partnerships. You require this license if you are doing your business under any other name other than your own. For example, Susan Smith doing business as Heaven’s Delight Bakery. In such a case you may be required by the county, city or state to register the fictious business name.
The procedure for registering your fictious business name is usually very simple but differs from state to state. In many states all you have to do is approach the County Clerk in the county office and pay a registration fee. In other states you may require the place the DBA business name and in the local newspaper for a certain amount of time. The costs that you can expect to encounter when filing in a notice for a fictious business name ranges from $25 to $100. Registering your DBA business name is also important in case you want to open a business account in your bank under the name of your business. The bank may require fictious name certificate to open such an account for you. If this is the case, the bank can help you out and tell you where you need to go to register.
As already mentioned it is mostly and only sole proprietorships and partnerships that need to file for the fictious named business registration. When you incorporate your business, incorporation documents have the same affect for corporate business as fictious name filings have for sole proprietorships and partnerships. Since the corporation has its own legal identity, it gets registered under the name that you choose for it when you file for the registration and documentation of the Corporation.