You want to open a business, but you don't want to have to sell up all your assets to pay for the licensing fees on top of all the other costs for startup. So you're wondering - how much is it going to cost? You should know the answer before your business plans are finalized so you can factor it into your budget. However, for the purposes of this article we cannot give you the answer in the form of a dollar amount. We can, however, outline the different factors that play into the cost.
In the United States, most business licenses are handed out by the government of the state that you're planning on opening the business in. This means that even if you're from Texas for instance, you'll have to pay the much steeper cost of a New York licensing fee is you want to open a pawn shop in New York City. There are, however, some types of businesses that need federal licenses. These include broadcasting companies, drug manufacturers, investment firms, transport companies, meat producers, and anything involving the sale of alcohol, tobacco, or firearms.
Type of Business
Some types of business cost more to license than others because some types of businesses require more government supervision and inspections than others. The state would really need to make sure the buildings weren't going to collapse, so you could expect to pay more to license an architecture or building contract firm than a retail store or a window cleaning business in Montreal for example. Do your research and make sure you get the proper permits and licenses for your type of business, as there may be more than one step.
Size/Profitability of Business
Governments are not heartless. If you're struggling to get by in a tiny shop selling products, the city or state will not charge you as much in licensing fees as they would charge a huge multinational manufacturer. The size of the business plays into the fee structure, as does the revenue coming in, in many cases.
Exceptions and Subsidies
If your business is a nonprofit group or provides a community service, you're not expected to pay as much in licensing fees. Also, if you're a member of a minority (i.e. women, Native Americans, homosexuals) you may be able to get fee reductions from places that are looking to diversity their business landscape.
For more permit and licensing information in Canada, visit Canadabusiness.ca
For more information in the USA, you can visit SBA.ov