As you prepare to open a business, you have probably spent months researching all the necessary steps and resources. However, have you researched the licensing requirements? These are a few of the small business licenses that small business owners have to pursue before or while opening a new business.
Some industries require specific licensing. For example, electricians, lawyers, plumbers, and tax accountants need occupational licenses before they start a business. Before you start your company, learn whether you need an occupational license.
Your secretary of state website has a list of business licensing options that you can choose from, but every business should be registered and licensed with the state. Otherwise, the legality of the company can be questioned. It is also more difficult to get financing if you aren’t properly registered.
When you sign on to the state website, you will choose the type of company you want to open, e.g., an LLC, corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. Conduct some research on how your company can benefit from each of these business structures, and choose the one that protects you and your company.
Many cities and counties also have licensing requirements. For example, you may need a local small business license that is issued at city hall or your county office before you can open your doors.
As environmental concerns have increased and more research has been conducted on how businesses impact the environment, many states and municipalities have become more stringent about environmental licensing. Your company should have a waste management program that does no harm. You may also be required to adhere to specific air and water quality regulations. These licenses are especially important in manufacturing, refining, and mining operations, but even small businesses often have to have an environmental review.
If you plan to build, lease or buy a building, you should check the zoning of the area. You need to locate your company in areas that allow commerce. For example, most communities do not allow retail or manufacturing in residential areas, and your manufacturing capabilities may even be limited in commercial zones. Even home-based businesses may require special licensing from the city.
If you plan to build or renovate an existing building, you will need building permits that prove your plans are safe and adhere to local regulations.
Like other small business owners, you can protect your company from unnecessary legal trouble by learning about all the business licenses you need before you open your doors.