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Just about every business has to keep up with business license , permit, and registration requirements for public safety, tax, or similar reasons. Sometimes, even a home-based business needs a local home occupation permit, or even a business with employees working from home.
State and local governments (like counties, cities or towns) usually impose these business burdens, but sometimes the federal government does too.
CT Note: In today’s highly regulated environment, keeping up with your business licensing helps maintain good public relations and your good reputation.
Business license, permit, and registration requirements vary by location and by type of business. Businesses subject to sales and use tax have to comply with any registration, license, or permit requirements. Other common business licensing requirements include:
Consequences for unlicensed businesses. Usually, a business that fails to comply with its licensing obligations has to pay a fine or penalty. In some cases, however, authorities could shut down your business operations – costing both money and goodwill. In recent years, many local governments have felt financial pressures and have imposed new or higher licensing fees. Some have also increased enforcement against businesses that haven’t been complying.
Given the large number of local, state, and federal agencies, a business could need any variety of specific licenses. And, these requirements change.
CT Note: Many business licenses have to be renewed periodically.
Because there are so many different types of regulated business activities, a change in operational activities or the addition of a new product or service may require a new license.
CT Note: Opening a new location may also require a new license, permit or registration.
If your business involves the sale of certain types of products (like lottery tickets, liquor, firearms or gasoline) or certain types of services (like medical care, auto repair, real estate or insurance), you might need a special permit or occupational license.
Some industries, like day care or aviation, are more highly regulated than others. These kinds of industries include:
If you are operating a business from your home or an online business, you also need licenses and permits.
Regardless of what your business does, it’s good to keep up with your business licensing requirements. It avoids unnecessary fines, helps maintain your good reputation, and helps keep the wheels turning.
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