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"Do I Need a Business License?"
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"Do I Need a Business License?"


By Michael Bell Monday, February 16, 2015

do i need a business licenseYou’ve formed your business entity, obtained your tax ID number, and foreign qualified in your home state...now what? You may be wondering, "Do I need a business license?" Before you can open your doors you must obtain the necessary business licenses and permits required for your business. Licenses may be required by the federal, state and local governments, depending on the type of business. Don’t get caught without the proper licenses! Failure to obtain these licenses can result in costly penalties and even potential closure of your business.

A business license is an approval or permit issued by a government agency that authorizes a business to operate within a specific jurisdiction. This license is often an additional requirement beyond the registration of a business at the state level. Whether a business is required to have a specific license depends on such factors as the activities of the business, types of products sold, and location. Government authorities use business licenses to regulate business behavior and protect the public. License fees are also commonly used as a way to tax businesses operating within certain jurisdictions.

Some licenses are required of all businesses operating within a jurisdiction. These include:

  • Basic Business Licenses
  • Payroll Tax Registration (if there are employees)
  • Sales Tax Registration (if it sells tangible goods or performs taxable service)

Many licenses are industry specific. Commonly licensed industries include:

  • Healthcare: Pharmacy, Wholesale Drug Distributors, DME, etc.
  • Debt – Collection Agency, Debt Buyers, Debt Settlement etc.
  • Insurance
  • Construction – roofing, electric, plumbing, home improvement, etc.
  • Charities
  • Tobacco – wholesale and retail
  • Telemarketing
  • Retail sales
  • Security – Guards, Agencies, Alarm Companies, etc.
  • Energy Broker
  • Engineering

And many more…

State regulatory agencies take great pains to identify and penalize unlicensed business operations. Unlicensed businesses diminish the integrity of the profession, create undue competition for properly licensed businesses, and often provide inadequate goods and services. What are the consequences of not having a business license? Any business operating without a license, or with an expired license, may be subject to penalties, such as harsh fines and/or cease-and-desist orders.

With over 40,000 different licensing jurisdictions, determining and obtaining the proper licenses can be a daunting task. We can help! Through a strategic partnership with LicenseLogix, a leading license compliance firm, we will meet all your business licensing needs! Please visit our business license page for details.

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