Whether you operate your business in a corporate office or a home office, some type of permit, licensure or registration will most likely be needed. The type and method of securing these permits and licenses often vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; so it is important to contact local governing bodies to make sure you have the proper documentation. However, almost every business will require some form of permit or license.
Get specific information
Our best advice is that you seek information that is specific to your location. The registration process in Chico, CA may be completely different from the one in Atlanta, GA. Often, your local city or county clerk will be the best person to speak with and should be able to direct you to the necessary paperwork required to legally run your business within the jurisdiction. If any state or federal documentation is required for your business type, the city office should also be able to advise you on this. Obtaining a permit or license may also require a minimal fee.
While changes in local law can impact your licensure or permit status, local governments are required by law to notify businesses within their jurisdiction of these changes. So keep an eye out for any communication from your local government. The Small Business Administration’s website (http://www.sba.gov) also has a robust database on the required registrations for your business at the federal, state, and local level.
Home-based businesses are not exempt from these requirements many times, and a special permit may be required to conduct business in your home due to zoning laws. Depending on your area (some local governments allow almost no commercial activity in residentially zoned areas while others may require special permits, etc.) you may be required to obtain special permission or a variance in order to conduct business out of your home. To find this information, we would recommend going to the horse’s mouth and asking your local authorities, as they will be most familiar with the particular requirements of your area.
While this article addresses local registration, some businesses may also require separate state and/or federal permits and licensure. State licensure is often required for the following business types:
- Bill collectors
- Private security guards and private investigators
- Real estate agents
This is just a small sampling of some business types which may require special state licensing. Again, the best advice will be to contact your local government for more information on any licensing required for your business type in your business location.
Industries that are heavily regulated by the federal government may require additional permits or licensure at the federal level. Examples of these business types include:
- Drug manufacturing
- Ground transportation
- Alcohol, tobacco, or firearm manufacturing
- Preparation of meat products
Again, these represent a small sample of the types of businesses which may require federal licensure. And again (you can probably guess where we’re going here) it is important to contact your local governing bodies for more information on the types of permit or licensure that is required for your business type in your location.
Once you’ve talked to your local government, come talk to us at Launch by LegalShield and we can help you get started.