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Expanding to a new state: How to obtain business licenses and permits

A CRITICAL STEP WHEN EXPANDING

Expanding operations is an exciting time. But with all of the excitement and work involved, it can be easy to overlook certain critical steps after qualifying to do business in a new state. Business licenses and permits are mandatory for when you begin to legally operate in a new location. Failing to comply with these requirements could cost you a hefty fine, or worse, prevent you from legally conducting business. Protect your business from the start by arming it with the proper licenses it needs.

THE INS AND OUTS OF OBTAINING LICENSES AND PERMITS: WHEN AND HOW TO GET WHAT YOU NEED

When opening your business in a new state, the first step is to qualify with the Secretary of State’s Office in that particular state. Then, knowing what local licenses and permits are required to legally operate your business is essential. A business must ensure it is compliant at all necessary jurisdictional levels – from the Secretary of State level down to the town level, in some instances.

Finding the specific requirements for your business and state can be time consuming and stressful, especially considering there are over 30,000 licensing authorities in the United States. It is also important to understand that licensing requirements vary by state, county, city, or other local jurisdictions and they depend upon the nature of your business, number of employees, and business locations, among other factors.

If you are not up-to-date with your licenses, you are putting your business in jeopardy. You may be hit with costly penalties and interest. Your business may even be temporarily shut down. In addition to scenarios like this, company executives will often be required to appear in court, in-person, for violations. Further, some municipalities can be extra vigilant in identifying non-compliant businesses as a potential source of additional revenue, and may hire third party collectors.

An online search for licensing requirements may render some partial or confusing results but, typically, most organizations choose to contact the local authority to gather pertinent licensing requirements. However, this could lead to gaps in the research as one level of government may not necessarily know the requirements needed at a different level, or what’s needed for your particular business. Take, for example, regulated industries like the insurance, pharmaceutical, and food service trades. They all are very different but all have significant licensing requirements and must comply with a variety of agencies. To help eliminate licensing gaps, you can utilize a third party Business License Service, taking the guesswork out of the license research process. They will determine what permits, licenses and registrations are needed, and will obtain the necessary forms and applications for you.

Four Steps to Ensuring License Compliance
For example, here are the four steps CT takes to ensure license compliance:

1. File an application for certificate of authority in the desired state (this includes supporting documentation from the home state, as required by the state).
2. Complete a short questionnaire with basic information about your organization.
3. Comprehensive research will be conducted on your behalf for all licensing requirements.
4. Receive the results in an easy-to-read and customized PDF packet.

Your Business License Research packet includes:
➢ Overview of all licensing requirements relevant to your specific business
➢ Digitized application forms
➢ Full licensing authority contact information
➢ Detailed information on fees and filing instructions

CONCLUSION

Be sure to do your due diligence when it comes to obtaining the proper local licenses and permits in the state you desire to do business. This is essential to legally running your organization and avoiding penalties. While researching the various requirements can be daunting, utilizing a third party to do this for you can help simplify the task. Ultimately, having the right licenses and permits will provide you with a solid foundation for success.

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To learn more about Business License Research, call us at 844-206-9032 or visit https://ct.wolterskluwer.com/business-license-solutions.

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