Starting a Business – Licenses and Permits
We recently blogged about Start-up Business Basics. This article will expand on the sixth point we made in that post: Getting Your Business Properly Licensed and Permitted.
Starting a business is a complex endeavor with a myriad of legal, financial and logistical factors to consider. The issue of identifying and obtaining appropriate licenses and permits can touch all three domains. The requirement for a license or permit is usually generated by a law or government regulation; there is usually a cost (sometimes substantial) associated with a license or permit; and compliance with licensing and permitting requirements can influence how your business operates.
The types of licenses and permits that may be required when starting a business will vary greatly depending upon the type of business and its geographical location. For example, opening a restaurant in New York City will have much different requirements than starting a pilot instructor school in Tulsa. Moreover, at each location there will be several layers of laws and regulations imposed by local, county, state and federal government entities.
Local Permits and Licenses
There are many types of permits and licenses managed at the local (typically town and city) level. A common example of licenses and permits issued at this level include building permits and occupancy permits.
Building and occupancy permits relate to the commercial space where you will be running your business and are typically required if you are renovating or constructing new space. If you will be leasing your business space, you may not need to obtain these permits, but you should make sure that the property owner has obtained them to avoid future issues.
County Permits and Licenses
At the county level, permits and licenses can be required for businesses such as hotels, casinos and public swimming pools. In general, businesses that attract large numbers of people or conduct risky activities (such as gambling or swimming) will require special permits. In counties without a major city or municipality, many of the permits handled at the local level are managed by the county government.
State Permits and Licenses
Business licenses are issued by many states contingent upon payment of taxes and proof of adequate workers’ compensation insurance. It’s important to understand what is required by the state you live in because there can be a variety of licenses and permits for your particular business at the state level. Be sure to take the time to find out exactly what your business requirements are.
Federal Permits and Licenses
Your business may also need a permit or license from the federal government to legally operate. The type and variety of government regulation involved in starting a new business can be confusing and intimidating. The permits and licenses required for your new business are dependent upon the type of business and its location.
These are just a few ideas to help you as you start your business. You’ll want to be sure to check with the different levels of government, local, county, state and federal, when getting your business started. You may not need anything for some of these levels, but a phone call or consultation with an attorney can give you the exact information needed.
Starting a business can be a lot of fun. It can also be a lot of work. At Blue Coast Savings Consultants we offer a turn-key business opportunity much like that of a franchise except that there are no ongoing royalties to be paid and there is a relatively low initial licensing fee.