Before you carry out a business license search, it is paramount to know that business licenses come in two forms. This could be permission to work in specifically defined professional space or legal permission from the authorities to carry out business in an equally defined industry.
To obtain a business license to run your enterprise, you need state government approval in the form of registration. This implies that a business entity has gained legal recognition to trade in that industry. To carry out a license search, you need to primarily identify the type of license you are aiming for. Equally, you need to know the jurisdiction the business carries out its operations.
Depending on the industry, specific businesses will need to obtain additional licenses to cater to their employees' safety, public health, and general well-being. Companies in sectors like taxi cabs, swimming pools, dance clubs, circuses and carnivals, tree trimming, dating services, and janitorial services would require special licenses.
Most of these businesses need to undergo periodic checks by local authorities to verify how spotless their adherence to regulations is. Generally, if a company would be dealing with the public on a large scale, it would need a special license.
Do you want to confirm if a business is genuine? Carrying out a license search is one of the most valid ways to investigate the business's legitimacy. This is what we live for, saving you all that verification hassle.
Leveraging exquisite search technologies and an overwhelming directory of business licenses, we help you readily execute any license verification exercise. This way, you can confirm if the concerned business has a professional license, if the license is yet active, its expiration date, or if the businesses have recorded any violations regarding their professional licenses.
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The majority of small businesses can operate without federal licenses and permits. The exception to this are specific industries which are keenly regulated by federal agencies. For this exempt class, federal permits may be required to operate. Below is a table of the industries under federal regulation that could need federal permits.
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Obtaining a basic business license gives a company or an individual the legal capacity to carry out business within the geographical jurisdiction of the authorities granting the license. This business license authenticates the operation of this company, provided they adhere to tax regulations and other protocols laid down by the federal, state, and local authorities.
To get a basic business license, the business owner must collaborate with the IRS to procure an employer identification number (EIN). This is precisely for business entities already with employees. The EIN readily goes for the Employee Tax ID number.
Before registering a license for your small business, it is vital to be thoroughly educated on the federal tax obligations relating to your business entity. Next is registering the EIN with your state department of revenue. It is also essential to be acquainted with the tax obligations specific to your state as these tax policies differ across states.
After you have completed the registration with both the state and federal revenue departments, you would proceed to your local government to process your application for a general business license. This is obtainable at the government center or the local city hall. This would come at the cost of $100, valid for 24 months.
A number of American states strictly require the acquisition of business licenses for a business entity to operate within their geographical jurisdiction legitimately. There could even be further need for local licenses. These states include Washington, Alaska, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, and Nevada.
For businesses whose operations involve considerable exposure of end-users to potential hazards and those whose personnel need significantly specialized training, these states have put in place license requirements.
Below is a table of the sectors that would need certification requirements from these states
It is important to note that the procurement process for such state business licenses varies across different occupations. In some roles, you would need to undertake specialized educational programs or training regimens.
Similarly, to procure a state business license in some niches, you would need to sit for a written examination before obtaining a license. In some cases, getting a state business license can be wrapped up with just payments.
Indeed, it is paramount to procure a state business license. You risk prosecution and a host of other disciplinary actions if your business operates without a state license. Even if you manage to escape criminal charges, the state authorities could order you to halt your business operation.
Also, should prospective customers embark on a license search, and your license status shows you don't have an active state license number, your brand credibility could be severely wounded.
It is typical to think the coast is clear after acquiring a state and federal licensure. However, in some specific cases, it is yet imperative to procure a local license for your business.
It is not uncommon to see counties and cities establishing their unique licensing legislation. Prevalently, local authorities will request you submit an application for local licensing. This cuts across as one-man businesses and those operating from home.
In a situation where your business entity operates from within the jurisdiction of the city, you should do well to ascertain the city authorities' licensing requirements. For those whose businesses run in an unincorporated region, it is best to clarify licensing requirements from the county authorities.
While some cities would pardon very small businesses, it is generally required that businesses part with a specified payment to procure a local license number. Indeed, there is no definitive fee for local licensing, as this varies across localities.
Typically, the local licensing fee ranges from as little as $15 to a few hundred dollars. There are also scenarios where the local licensing fee is computed from the projected gross revenue of the business. You could see a locality charging you 10 cents for every $1000 of anticipated revenue.
Local authorities will require documentation to process your application for a local license number. The table below shows some of the posted information that could be required of you.
|Business activities |
|Legal (or assumed) |
|Business start date|
|Number of employees||Social Security Number (SSN)||Federal Employment Identification Number|
|Expected annual sales||Business contact information||Business address|
|Business owner’s |
|Business sales tax number||Anticipated gross revenue|
Licensing agents can be significantly helpful in the planning and implementation of license programs, especially locally. Going with reputable licensing agents can save you cost and effort for brands that are not thoroughly acquainted with the licensing terrain, speeding up the application process.
The assistance of these licensing agents can be particularly helpful when the licensing process is appearing burdensome. Indeed, licensing agents can also relieve a brand of the licensing program administration, precisely through the rigors of negotiating licensing deals. In some cases, licensing agents can go as far as becoming stakeholders in the product development management process.
Licensing agents prevalently charge commissions and a fixed rate. Commonly, the latter is accrued from the declared royalties of a brand. Commissions paid to licensing agents range from 30-35%.
When picking business licensing agents, you should be keen on their level of competency. Given the dynamic nature of licensing, a befitting licensing agent should be competent enough to identify licensing opportunities before your rivals fish them out.
Indeed, such competency level is closely connected to the network of your licensing agent and predominantly, their experience. Their experience must be specific to your industry, region, and audience persona. While versatility is a virtue, it could be more rewarding to go with licensing agents who are specialized in your niche.
The commitment level of your licensing agent should be exquisite as well. They need to be reasonably devoted to the licensing program, committing time and effort as opposed to just being lackadaisical participants. They should be prompt in hitting timelines given the delicateness of licensing. Above all, your licensing agent should be trustworthy. Trust is highly critical between stakeholders, and you can't afford a breakdown in communication.