So you’re thinking of starting your own business. Before you put up that brand new shop sign, open your doors for business or go live with your online store, you’ll need to secure all the right business licenses and permits.
Figuring out which hoops you need to jump through, which licenses and permits are necessary, and which ones you can skip without a penalty can be time-consuming and overwhelming. That’s where our Incfile Business License Research Package comes in.
Save Valuable Time with a Business License Research Package
As a small business owner, time is your most valuable asset. Researching which types of permits and business licenses you will need can take hours of your own time. This is because business license research requires you to look into not only the different levels of licenses at the federal, state and local level but also the type of business you are starting.
From online businesses and home-based to brick-and-mortar and even food trucks, each type of business requires specific permits and licenses. We’ll touch on those types of permits briefly — but first, let’s consider the value of your time.
Small business owners know how important it is to find ways to save time. In fact, according to one oft-cited study conducted by Mavenlink, one in four small business owners believe each productive hour in a day is worth $500 or more. Additionally, a study by Stamford University found that productivity diminishes after 55 hours of work.
By delegating tasks like bookkeeping or the mundane effort of finding the permits and business licenses and associated forms you need to file, you will be freeing up many hours of productive time for yourself. Once you delegate these types of tasks, you can focus on bigger-picture business planning.
When it comes to business permits and licenses, there's a big margin of error. Failing to register for the proper licenses is actually one of the most common entrepreneurial errors. Not only will failing to register for the right license now cost you a lot of time in the long run, but it will also cost you much more. In fact, the costs of starting and operating without the correct business licenses and permits are high.
Your business’s credibility, longevity and profitability are all at stake. To make sure your business is an official legal entity, it’s important to seek out expert guidance from a lawyer or an institution that knows a lot about business licenses so that you can make sure you secure the necessary federal, state and local taxes.
We understand that identifying and filing for the right licenses and permits can get overwhelming and complicated. Investing in a Business License Research Package like ours will not only save you time but also give you the confidence that you’re operating your business by the law.
Know What Type of Permits and Licenses You Need
As licenses and permits requirements can vary extensively between states and industries, you could find yourself down a rabbit hole trying to weed through information on what is required. So, how do you research a business license? First, you’ll need to identify the type of business you are operating. Will you be operating out of a brick-and-mortar location, starting a home-based business, operating a mobile business like a food truck or opening an online business? Each of these types of businesses will require specific types of permits and licenses.
Next, understand the difference between permits and licenses.
Licenses are granted by a government agency as permission to do or use something. Licenses may often require an exam or a registration. A license to operate certain types of businesses includes a license to practice law or a liquor license.
Permits are granted by government agencies often following an inspection or application. If handling food or beverages, you will need a health permit. Some cities, towns and municipalities will have additional temporary permits required for businesses operating for in-person service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don't forget you need to look at each level of governance to see which licenses and permits they require, too.
Federal: Certain types of businesses will also need federal permits through different federal government agencies. These industries include broadcasting, agriculture, alcohol, investment advising and the preparation of meat and food. The U.S. Small Business Administration has more information on federal business licenses.
State: If you are starting a nonprofit, a corporation or an LLC, then you will need to register your business with the state. If you're selling goods, then you will need to look into a sales tax license before collecting sales tax.
Local: Local jurisdictions can have many different types of permit and license requirements, too. For example, city ordinances, landlords and neighboring organizations such as schools may have specific permits and license requirements for signage.
What Is in the Incfile Business Research Package?
The Incfile Business Research Package will prompt you to answer a few questions about your business, like your business address, what you do and what type of goods and services you offer. How long does Incfile license research take? About 3-5 days. You will receive an email with a comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your business as well as the application forms to file with the appropriate licensing authorities. You will also receive filing instructions and a fee schedule. Plus, we provide ongoing support in case you have follow-up questions as you fill out your applications.
One of the advantages of our business license research program is that it is licensed across all 50 states, which makes things easier if your business plans to grow and potentially operate in multiple states. As a small business owner, it’s your role to dream big, after all. And while you’re growing your business, Incfile’s Business License Research Service can free up your time, help you avoid costly mistakes and get you up and running legally in no time.
Nicole Bowman is a freelance writer who thinks turning research into stories is the best gig ever. She started writing billboards back in 2002, worked in book publishing in New York for many years and now she creates all sorts of engaging content for the web. Nicole lives in Rehoboth Beach, DE, with her husband, two sons and their poodle, Tootsie. She loves the great outdoors, bookstores and tennis.