Business License: Understanding Your Requirements

When you’re starting a business, you’ll probably find that business licenses are a requirement. It’s easy to assume that after you’ve filed your formation document with the state, you’re good to go — but this is not the case. You will likely have specific business license requirements. These requirements will depend on a few factors:
State regulations
County regulations
City/township regulations
Your business structure (corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship, and so on)
Your industry (a real estate agent will need a very different license than a bar or a hospital)
Additional requirements specific to any agency you may deal with in the future due to your unique circumstanceWhat type of business licenses do I need for my business?There are a few ways you can determine your specific requirements:Contact your state, county, and city/township jurisdictions to determine each level of government’s requirements.The best place to start would be to contact the Department of Business Services or Corporations Division of your Secretary of State. They will take care of any state-level licenses you may need, and they may point you in the right direction for the rest of the levels of government. Then, try your County Clerk or Clerk of Courts. Finally, try City Hall.Hire a corporate attorney.A lawyer can look at your specific circumstance and do the necessary research to keep you in compliance.Use a business license service.Third-party license services use a system with which they can do comprehensive research to determine your business license requirements in a matter of minutes, and they can do so for a much lower cost than that of paying a lawyer for his or her time. The great business license services, an example of which is CSC Global, will provide not only a list of the license requirements, but the license applications themselves, along with filing instructions and deadlines.Ultimately, ensuring that your business is in compliance with the regulations of all three jurisdictions is your own responsibility. Take control of your business licenses and get yourself back in compliance.