All business owners are required to obtain licenses and permits without which their business may be considered illegal. Sometimes, special permits and licenses are required in accordance with the rules and regulations laid by the national government depending on your kind of business.

While some of the licenses are easy to obtain others may require a lot of homework. Let’s go through them one at a time.

Local Business Licenses: This is necessary for all businesses and will enable you, as a business owner, to legally operate a business under a city’s/country’s jurisdiction. To obtain this license you need to have your basic paperwork in order. Find out the kind of license you need to obtain and get the corresponding application. The application should be duly filled in and should be submitted to the respective government office along with the required fee. Local business licenses need to be updated or renewed as per relevant rules; so be sure to file for renewals.

State Business Licenses: Businesses offering products and services regulated by their state law need to file for these licenses. These licenses are required by people like realtors, hairdressers, lawyers, auto mechanics, private investigators etc. who require a certain amount of certified training or education. To obtain these licenses contact your local government offices to see if you need this license and then get the application. Fill it and file it with the respective state office along with the required fees. Renewals are necessary in this scenario too.

Sales Tax Licenses: This is required by almost all states for all retail businesses. It will allow you to charge sales tax from customers on their purchase. To obtain this license you will need to get in touch with your State Franchise Tax Board.

Federal Licenses: – Federal licensing is required for businesses, which are regulated by the government to a large extent. Businesses like these include inter-state trucking companies, meat-preparing companies, companies selling firearms etc. Legal help may well be required while you undergo the application process so consider consulting an attorney.

Permits: Permits are needed to keep a check on the community’s health through laws referred to as “ordinances”. That means that your business will need to comply with such ordinances in order to be legal.

The procedure to apply to these permits is the same as for Licenses. Some of these permits are mentioned below.

Sellers Permit: This will be required in case you will be purchasing wholesale merchandise for resale. The State Franchise Tax Board usually issues this permit.

Building Permit: This permit is required if you’re planning to build a commercial space. You business will strictly need to be in compliance with local laws otherwise you may have trouble getting other important permits.

Health Permit: -If your business includes any kind of food preparation, you will need a health permit. You will need to call the governing health department for an inspection in order to get this permit.

There are other permits like the Home Occupation Permit that you will need to obtain if your business is home based.

Finally, if you are unwilling to comply with an ordinance you can always apply for a “variance” which will allow you to violate or circumnavigate the former.