Unexpected Capabilities. Unmatched Service.

Startup Essentials Series: What You Need to Know About Small Business Licenses and Permits

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third installation of a multi-post series dealing with decisions and tasks startup businesses face when getting off the ground. To read the first article in the series, click here and to read the second one, click here

Starting and operating a small business takes more than a good idea, moxie and elbow grease – it also takes paperwork.

Reams and reams of paperwork.

Businesses need licenses, permits, certificates and other permissions to operate, plain and simple. These slips of paper govern numerous aspects of setting up shop and selling your wares and services – and depending on what kind of business you run, you might need official documentation from various levels of government (city, county, state, federal, etc.).

What Licenses and Permits Will You Need?

There is absolutely no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” suggestion list for small businesses when it comes to the legal hoops you’ll need to jump through. Every small business is different and ultimately will need a different set of permits to operate. But here’s a rundown of different types of paperwork your business might need:

Certificates: Some small businesses require certificates to legally operate in a state or county. For instance, a “Use & Occupancy Certificate,” which states that health and safety codes have been met (among other things), may be required before a business opens a physical location. There are also specific ones, such as a Bed and Breakfast Certificate, which makes sure you’re operating within county regulations.

Licenses: Not only are traditional businesses required to get licensed up in a number of instances, but even nonprofits must go through certain hoops. For instance, hospitals typically require licenses from numerous different entities. Do you want to open a reflexology clinic, amusement park, waste-collection business or tanning facility? There are licenses for those buildings, too. There are even specific licenses for people selling goods or services away from the office, whether it’s door-to-door, on a regular street route or even just impromptu on the sidewalk.

Permits: Permits are typically necessary for things such as constructing a building or participating in/hosting an event. Most counties’ permit lists will explain everything from commercial buildings to fire codes, electrical, grading, septic system, paving, tree removal, mechanical and even historic area work.

This is just a mere glance at some of the hurdles you might have to jump when opening a business. McManamon & Co. offers a wide range of business consulting services to small- and mid-size businesses. And we can help you get over these and other regulatory hurdles you’ll face as a budding company.

Let’s tackle this mountain of business paperwork together. Call us at 440.892.9088 or contact us online to get started.

Tags:  , , | Posted in Consulting, McManamon & Co., small business