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How to Find the Right Business Licenses

Starting a business takes a lot of work. No matter which direction you turn, there seems to be a hundred different things to do with a million little details to figure out. Getting your business set up correctly from the start means you’ll be off on the right foot and not have to back track to do things right after you’re business starts to grow. But what do you need to start a business? It might not seem so simple if this is your first time launching a new venture, so we’ll start by covering the basics of licenses and permits.

Finding the Right License or Permit for Your Business

It’s true that one of the main reasons for licenses and permits is so that the government can track your revenue for tax purposes. However, it’s not the only reason you’ll want to make sure you have the right business license or permit. Licenses and permits also help protect the public (and that includes you when you’re acting as a consumer of products and services from the businesses around you).

Every type of business has varied requirements for the type of business permits and licensing that it requires. A lot of it depends on the type of industry and the location you’re operating in. The best thing you can do is figure out the type of business you fall under and then work from there.

What Type of Business Do You Have?

There are a variety of business types, but we’ll go through the most common ones and you’re sure to find that you fall into at least one category. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil so you can jot down notes and make a to do list so you hit the ground running.

Once you know what type of business you fall under, you’ll need to check your local state government page to see the specifics of what’s required for your state. You can access license and permit info for your state here.

Making Sure You Keep Up With Licensing

Making Sure You Keep Up With Licensing and Permit Renewals

Once you’ve filed for and obtained the proper licensing and permits, you’ll need to be a responsible business owner and make sure to maintain them. These expenses can be counted as the cost of doing business and can be used as tax write-offs come tax time. Here’s what we recommend to manage the paperwork that comes with our business license and permits:

Operating a Home-Based Business – Make Sure You’re in Compliance

Out of all the business types, home-based businesses are often those that are found not in compliance when it comes to business licenses, permits, and keeping up on taxes. Our guess, is that often, the owners consider their business a hobby, aren’t looking to grow it to a substantial size or even think of what they’re doing as a business. We get that, but as accountants, we’d recommend filing for and maintaining the proper licenses so that your business can flourish.

Permit for Your Business

So what type of business do you have or are thinking about starting? Have you started working to obtain the proper licenses and permits? How can we help?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What licenses and permits are needed to start a business?

To start a business, you’ll need various licenses and permits depending on your industry and location. Common ones include a local business license, sales tax permit, and professional licenses. Check with your local and state government for specific requirements.

2. How do I determine which type of business license I need?

Identify your business type (e.g., home-based, professional service, federally regulated) and check your local state government website for specific licensing requirements. This will help you determine the appropriate licenses for your business.

3. How can I ensure my business stays compliant with licensing requirements?

Maintain compliance by tracking renewal dates, setting reminders, keeping copies of submitted paperwork, and displaying licenses prominently. Ensure you update licenses if your business expands or changes its operations.

4. What happens if I don’t obtain the necessary business licenses and permits?

Operating without the required licenses and permits can result in fines, penalties, and potential closure of your business. It can also damage your business’s reputation and legal standing.

5. Do home-based businesses need licenses and permits?

Yes, home-based businesses typically require local government permits to operate legally. Even if it’s a small venture, obtaining the proper licenses ensures compliance and can benefit your business’s growth and legitimacy.

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