How and Where to Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
Are you planning on getting licenses and permits for your business as an entrepreneur in your country or you are an expatriate entrepreneur? Stay glued to your screen as I take you through on some of the most common licenses and permits you may need for your small business and how to obtain them in Texas, California, Florida, New York, Georgia, South Africa, Australia, India, Nigeria and other parts of the world where you intend to invest.
What Do I Need to Get My Business License?
Meeting the necessary requirements and obtaining licenses and permits online for your business is something that has to be done to avoid trouble with law enforcement officials; but if you feel getting them done yourself is too much of a stress, then you should seek the services of a legal practitioner to obtain all the licenses and permits on your behalf.
Regardless of the choice you go with, here are some of the most common licenses and permits you may require for your small business and how to obtain them.
1. Business Permit
If you are an entrepreneur residing in USA, the first step you will have to take to register your business is to research through Small Business Administration in order to get valid information on obtaining a federal or state business license or permit in the US.
You can get this done from your local business licensing authorities by paying the necessary fee. The business licensing authorities would check to see if there are any laws preventing you from starting the business in that area.
Each country has their own legal authorities that are in charge of registering businesses and issuing out of licenses and permit for business insurance and operations.
2. Fire Department Permit
If your business will make use of flammable materials or if your premises will be open to the public, then you will need to obtain a permit from the fire department. We are talking about businesses like restaurants and eateries, day-care centers and anywhere lots of people gather.
You will be given some basic requirements by the fire department which you would have to comply with before granting you the business permit. In addition, you should also expect to be subsequently visited by the fire departments for scrutiny.
3. Air and Water Pollution Control Permit
If your business will entail burning any materials, discharging of substances into the sewers or waterways, or using any product that produces gas (like paint sprayers); then you should obtain a permit from the state environmental protection board responsible for getting this permit for business in PA. You will be given some criteria to be met. After meeting the set criteria, you will be granted a permit in GA.
4. Sign Post and Boards Permits
Definitely, you will need this one. You cannot operate your business fully without making some sorts of advertisement in one way or the other –especially using sign posts and boards.
To obtain this license, you will have to make a visit to the board responsible for advertisement regulation in your state to inquire on the approved sizes, lighting, and location to place your sign posts and boards. This is where you will have to make the necessary payment for the fees. I will advise you make this inquiry before designing or installing any sign posts at all.
5. Local and City Licenses and Permits
You will need a local or city license or permit. The requirements will vary from one locality or city to the other. This is where you will have to pay a visit to the authorities in your locality or city responsible for granting this permit. Some requirements variations from one locality or city to the other include:
• Zoning Compliance Permit: You will have to make sure the space you are making use of is properly zoned for that particular type of business.
• Space Re-modelling Permit: You may need this one if you plan to alter the space you want to make use of.
6. State License
You should make a visit to the state authorities where you want to undertake your business and make inquiry whether you would need a license or permit before operation. In most countries, you must have an occupational license or permits before your business can perform services.
If your business offers more of services like: draughtsmen, building contractors, real estate brokers, etc; you may want to obtain a license or permit from the state authorities where you want to conduct your business.
7. Federal License
Most businesses may not require a federal license or permit before operation. However, few businesses would require this license. Radio and TV stations, huge industries and multinational companies would require a federal license in order to be able to fully operate. In order to obtain a federal license, you will have to make a visit to the federal authorities responsible for granting this license.
If you are unsure as to whether you will need a federal license, then you should make a visit to the trade commission in your country for inquiries.
8. Sales Tax License or Seller’s Permit
Running a taxable business means you are expected to file tax returns regularly. In fact, in some states, it is a criminal offense to operate without one –especially if your business offers sales.
To obtain this license, you would have to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service which would give you a tax identification number you will use to file your taxes annually. In addition as a requirement, you will have to pay 5% value added tax which you would collect from your clients to the government.
9. Health Department License
This license is very important especially if you are planning on running a business that deals directly with food such as restaurants and eateries. To obtain this license, you will have to visit the health department authority in the city or state you want to run your business. The health department will issue a license for your business once you meet all of the requirements.