Obtaining a Business License

Legally operating a business in the United States requires some paperwork and documentation for your business. Most of these forms and licenses are just formalities that make the state and the IRS aware that you may be operating and you may be making some money. “What does my small business need?” Well depending on the size and type, at a minimum a business license. This just says to the world ” I am here and I can do this”. 

Every business needs one or more federal, state or local licenses or permits to operate. Licenses can range from a basic operating license to very specific permits, (e.g., environmental permits). Regulations vary by industry, state and locality, so it’s very important to understand the licensing rules where your business is located. Not complying with licensing and permitting regulations can lead to expensive fines and put your business at serious risk.

To obtain a business license with the state that you are located in is a simple jaunt down to the Secretary of States office or checking out their website for forms online. You should have these things in mind before heading down to the Capitol or logging on. Do you want to be a Limited Partnership, Limited-Liability Partnership, or Limited-Liability Limited Partnership only. For the purposes of this article we are only focusing on small locally owned business., therefore there will be no discussion of corporations. There are a few important details that make all the difference, like who is in the business and who will be responsible for the debts and taxes. Once these decisions are made you will need to fill out a few forms, of course and pay some money. (About 20 dollars) Most of these forms can be found online at the Secretary of States website. Then you must file for a state business license, which must be renewed every year with a list of current partners and any other pertinent information. Once your license has been approved you may legally begin operating your business within your state.

Stay tuned next time for information on how to begin funding your small business…

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