If you are considering starting a business, one of the most important (and potentially confusing) steps you will take is complying with local licensing and permit requirements for starting and running your business. Local licensing and permit requirements vary widely depending on your city or county, and the type of business you will be operating. You'll be dealing with everything from tax registration to occupational licenses and unemployment insurance.
The following are examples of some of these requirements, with the type of business activity to which they might apply identified in parentheses. For more information, visit FindLaw's Business License and Permits section.
Types of Permits
Compliance with Local Business Laws and Regulations: Getting Started
Depending on the city where you do business, you may be able to get all the licensing and permit information you need in one place, such as a city or county clerk's office. In smaller cities and towns, you may need to contact individual agencies or offices separately.
Following is a list of local (city, county, town) officials, offices, and organizations you may wish to contact to discuss your licensing and permit responsibilities in connection with starting a new business:
Think you home-based bicycle repair business is exempt from local licensing or permit requirements? Think again. Before you decide to fix another flat tire, be sure you understand how to operate your business legally. Each geographical location may have different requirements. The SBA website can provide you with a good starting point to understanding the laws in your area.
In addition to complying with the local laws, always check with your homeowners association (HOA) to see if it has any specific requirements to running a business out of your residence. Typically the rules and regulations about home-based businesses can be found in the rules and regulations, known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).
Does your Business Need Help with Local Licenses, Permits, or Regulation Compliance?
Local licenses, permits, and regulation compliance can seem like a maze. A skilled business law attorney can help you in many ways, from dealing with town officials to helping you understand your responsibilities. Contact a local attorney today to learn about your options.