What Licenses and Permits Does Your Business Needs? (Easy Tips)

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or any law enforcement agent. Every country, state and city have their own rules. Please contact a specialist for any legal consents. Do not take this article as legal advice.

Based on what you decided…

Even if you decide not to start a structure but might consider doing so once there is a stable income into your business, I would save the previous and this article for reference when you’re ready to get started. 

For those that are willing to start a corporation, a LLC, or register your business with your county/city, here are the next steps. P.S: We are getting closer to the fun 🤩 part about building your business. 

Side note (optional): If you feel too overwhelmed or scare that you might not get all the paperwork correctly, there are services that can guide you to the right paperwork and even filled it out for you. The only problem is finding a trustworthy company to help you and having $$$$💰 to pay the application fees and their service. This is just optional. 

Requirements 

Every country, state and city have different permits and licenses. You will need to do some digging around. 

For us in California we need:

  • seller’s permit 
  • Ein number (unless you want to use your SSN)
  • business license (provided by the city)
  • business registration aka. DBA-Doing Business As (depending on your county)
  • any other licenses or permits your business needs 

Seller’s permit– Allows you to legally sell. There are many types of permits that allow you to sell temporary, or if your business is active. You will have to be specific with the type of business you have and how long will you want your permit. If you are in the U.S.A, you’ll most probably will get this permit with the IRS. Service is online.

Ein Number- Like a Social Security Number for your business which will be given for your business. It will allow you to fill taxes. However, you can also use your own SSN. This number is usually given for free. No fees, no charges. If you are in the U.S.A, you’ll most probably will get it with the IRS. Service is online.

Business License– License by your city allowing you to operate in your city.

Business Registration-Known by many names. DBA (Doing Business As) informs your county about your business, name, location, owner, what it sells, etc. This is done in your county, might be able to do it online. There might be a fee.

Other Licenses or permits– This depends on where and what your business is about. If you sell food, you might need a permit for that. If you are starting a truck transportation goods, then maybe both. You will have to check based on where you live.

You will need to go to the official website of your state, county, and city to see what your business needs. There’s help online, lawyers that specialize in businesses, workshops, etc. There’s plenty of help but you need to ask around. 

All businesses are different and might have different requirements. For example, you might need a permit to sell alcoholic beverages, whereas; if you want to open an official daycare you might need studies and/or a license. 

Note: license and permits may vary for every city/ county. For example, in California, Los Angeles county has few different registration requirements compared to San Diego county. 

Note: Some counties might not require DBA, if, your business is register as an LLC or corporation.

Important Tip

It is important to have extra money spare for emergencies. For instance, something costs more than what your initial estimate is. If you are left with extra money, great 😊 save it up. 

For me, since I didn’t know how much the business license was, I made an estimate of $120. I had read online that cost would be ~$70-$120. I took the highest number and assumed that was my price. If you want to, call the offices to give you a price. 

Another tip: Sometimes some of these services can be done online. Except that filling in the information can be quite trick. I was luck to find a YouTube tutorial on how to get a seller’s permit. Only one video from all the results, was able to guide me to the right page. Don’t give up, there’s people willing to help you out or maybe understanding teams is difficult.

Every penny counts when you start off. Lean to use it wise.
Every penny counts when you start off. Lean to use it wise.

That’s it 

Once this paperwork is done, you have completed most of the difficult 😥 work. Great work👍. Now we can open a bank 🏦 account.

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