Licenses And Permits Needed To Operate Your Business
Of course it would be extremely convenient if we could list down all the permits and licenses you might need for any type of business. But unfortunately, these requirements vary from business to business, from city to city, state to state, and day to day. For any given business, you’ll need to check with city, state, and federal agencies. One way is to sit down with the “Government Agencies” section of your phone book. More conveniently, ask your lawyer or broker, the Small Business Administration (sba), or better still, someone already in the business that interests you. Meanwhile, here are three standard requirements:
Federal: To report employee earnings, you’ll need an IRS Employer Number. For alcohol, a Federal Tax Stamp is required.
State: States with sales taxes will require a Sales Tax Permit and a resale number. The state may also ask for a deposit based on your expected sales volume. The usual agency for this is the State Board of Equalization. Plan to open a Benefits Account to hold your contributions to unemployment insurance. This usually must be done within ten days of the start of business and is generally handled by your accountant. If you intend to sell alcohol, the state may demand a more rigorous check on your past. Your never having committed a felony is a standard requirement. The check will include FBI fingerprints and takes the longest of any ordinary license – up to ninety days or more.
City: For a business license, fictitious name filing is typically required. This is usually taken care of at the City Treasurer or County Recorder’s office. When you go down to register or transfer the business name, ask whether you need to publish a fictitious name that will be listed in a local financial paper.
The city or county will probably also have responsibility for any health or sanitation permits, either for your place of business or for any food handlers you might employ. Anyone working around food will probably need at least a TB and (if there’s been a recent outbreak), a hepatitis test. These initial tests can be done quickly at a public clinic.
The above examples are general needs. You may need more specific licenses and permits, for example:
* Contracting or Construction
* Firearms Sales
* Food Manufacturing
* Anything involving toxic or chemical wastes
* Anything with significant environmental impact
* Anything involving aircraft safety or aircraft mechanics
* Sale of Drugs or Pharmaceuticals
* Practice of Law, Medicine, or Certified Accounting