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Truth 18. The paper chase: Obtaining bus... > Obtaining a business license

Obtaining a business license

Most communities require businesses to obtain a license to operate. Your city clerk should be able to handle this for you. If you plan to operate your business from home, a separate home occupation business license is often required. When you apply for a license, your city planning and zoning department will usually check to make sure your area is zoned for the purpose you want to use it for. If your business is located outside a city or town’s jurisdiction, you’ll need to go to your county courthouse to obtain your business license.

If you’re a sole proprietor, you can usually stop here, as far as your business license goes. If you have employees, or your business is a corporation, a limited liability company, or a limited partnership, you’ll need a state business license in addition to your local one. There are additional state provisions that you may need to comply with. If you’re starting a retail or service business, you’ll need to obtain a sales tax license, which enables you to collect taxes on the state’s behalf. You’ll need a special license to sell liquor, lottery tickets, gasoline, or firearms. People in certain professions, such as barbers, chiropractors, nurses, and real estate agents, must normally pass a state examination and maintain a professional license to conduct business. This category covers a wide swath of businesses, so check with your state government to see if your profession applies. Certain businesses also require special state licenses. Examples include child care, health care facilities, hotels, and restaurants. Again, check with your state to see if your business is subject to special licensing and inspection requirements.


  

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