Obtain the Necessary Business Licenses

November 19, 2014 in ,

Once you have a registered agent and an EIN, you’ll actually be able to file the paperwork to establish your business. But before you can open your doors, you’ll need to obtain the correct business licenses.

First of all, what exactly is a business license?

A business license is any government issued permit or registration that a business owner is required to obtain at the federal, state, or local government level. A business needs these licenses to officially, and legally, do business.

Licenses are useful for a couple of reasons: they identify a business and make sure it’s accountable for its actions, they protect public health by ensuring a business meets at least the minimum health requirements, they track a business’s activities for tax purposes, and they notify citizens of any business activity that could impact them.

There are a couple different types of business licenses and permits– they fall into these categories: business operations, health department, tax registrations, state issued occupational licenses, liquor licenses, and zoning and land use permits. The type of business you run will dictate which of these licenses and permits apply to you.

Another type of license your business should be looking into is the DBA.

A DBA, or Doing Business As, is necessary if your company plans on conducting business or collecting money under a name that’s not your own. This doesn’t just go for soleproprietors—if you have a corporation or LLC and want to do business under a different name than your corporate name, you can also be required to obtain a DBA.

With a DBA, your business can:

  • Open a business bank account,
  • Gain a sense of credibility with your customers by collecting checks and payments made payable to your business’s name
  • Start advertising on business cards, signs, and websites
  • Discourage other businesses from using your registered name
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