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Remember when you could start a business by making a pitcher of lemonade, setting a table up on the sidewalk, and designing a pretty sign?
Today, starting a business means paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork. Big brother (the government) wants to be able to track your business for tax purposes and to protect the public. So, to start a business you'll likely need a permit or license.
Where can you find permit and licensing requirements to start a business?
Licensing and permit requirement vary among states, counties, and cities. The type of business you have may also dictate what kind of permits you need. Here are a general list of common required business permits and licenses:
With all these licensing and permit requirements, where do you go to find the proper forms?
Go to the U.S. Small Business Administration website. The website has a list and links to all state business license offices, and federal licenses and permits that you may need for your specific industry. The site is also a great resource on starting, funding, and operating a business.
Don't forget your city or county though. Take a look at websites for your local entities to make sure you are properly permitted. For example, the City of San Francisco has a special business
portal online with access to all the local permits as well as resources to help owners grown and manage their businesses.
Alternatively, if you want to spend your time focusing on operating your business instead of doing paperwork, an experienced business attorney can help you get all the required licenses and permits for your business.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.