Steps to obtaining a business license

Written By Steps To Faculty Published June 22nd, 2010

Prior to commencing your small or online business, you need to carefully research all legal consequences as well as state and federal rules and regulations. By law you need to license a business before you collect revenues. But by obtaining a business license, several points must be considered. Let’s take a look at what you need to be careful of before engaging in getting a business license.

Step 1 Find out what are the requirements

Nearly all federal, state, and county laws require a business license before a business can be started. However, you need to determine what the specific land use regulations are as well as all zoning requirements, even if you have an online business. Check with your local and state government clerk’s office for these rules. If you have a physical business, then you also need to consider any relevant building code regulations and the associated rent or leasing contracts.

Step 2 Locate specific forms

In addition to finding out the specific federal and state requirements, check with the county clerk’s office for any specific forms that must be completed. Be sure to inquire about all necessary documentation that must be filed and recorded also. If you do not complete this step thoroughly, you can lose your business or face severe penalties down the road.

Step 3 Confirm your business structure

Often times when completing forms and getting the business license, you must declare the official business structure of your firm. Whether you are a small independent sole proprietorship or a limited liability corporation this needs to be clarified. The standard formats are sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, and a limited liability corporation. You should also indicate whether your business is a physical one or Internet based.

Step 4 State your name

Most states require any fictitious business name must be filed thirty days prior to the organization’s opening. Recall that the name you choose for your business will ultimately be the name that your first customers will remember. There is a fee for filing your business name and the name is valid for five years. Check with the county clerk’s office for a list of available names that you can use. You can also check the to find a list of available names nationwide that can be used.

Step 5 Store the license

Now that you have completed the necessary steps and filed all needed paperwork you are granted your business license, which is good for five years from the issue date.

Remember, your business license is an essential part of the initiation process.

Roger Due

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