Whether you are starting a new business or getting married, buying a dog or tending bar, you will need to be familiar with your areas process in getting licensed. Finding yourself caught off-guard, on the spot and unaware of your licensing needs at a crucial time can be a crippling moment to any entrepreneur, newly engaged couple or aspiring employee. Here are some guidelines to help you get familiar with what to expect and prepare for.
Before you establish any small business, you should be fully aware of municipal, state/provincial and federal regulations. In most cases, every business will need some sort of a license in order to operate. Whether it is a Master Business License or tax registration certificates, you will need to secure these before opening the doors.
You will then also need to research and pursue licensing that is specialized to your field. A service provider in the health field, will obviously face different regulations than a company selling coffee & donuts (like this familiar one). Depending on the type of business you are opening, you may need to apply for multiple licenses on multiple levels. For instance, if you were hoping to open a new tavern in New York City, you would need a general business license and health permits from the city, sales tax and liquor licenses from the state and a federal tax identification certificate from the federal government.
If your new business will involve preparing and selling food, you may have to obtain a health department permit from the county. Whether you are opening a dress shop in Montana or a new dental office for kids (click for examples), you will also need to determine if your new business will be operated in a space that is properly zoned for your kind of usage. City zoning statutes regulate waste disposal, off-street parking and the size of your business's signage.
One of the most important licenses that business owners must obtain is their fire permit. Any space that you are creating which will attract large crowds will need to have their local fire department inspection. If you are handling chemicals, the city or federal agencies will want to ensure you are not dumping your waste along the riverside. Bankruptcy lawyers, firearms salesmen and lottery officials all need special licensing in almost every industrialized country.
Occupational and professional licensing can be required by your state or province in order to find employment as a plumber, auto mechanic, electrician or the like. If you are considering making your fortune in manufacturing, you may have to pass examinations in order to obtain your licensing. You will have to research what professional licenses you need and what is involved in getting accredited for them.
With some research and investigation, you will find that your licensing needs will vary from state to state. Requirements for manufacturing leather cases in New Jersey may be quite different than in Arizona. Obtaining a marriage or drivers license in Los Angeles could be a completely different experience than in New Orleans.
Other licensing you will need for day-to-day may include federal security clearances. If you are working for a local, state/provincial or federal government agency, they may require you to undergo testing and certification for not only your job skills but your ability to espouse and protect confidential or sensitive information.