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Why Hire a Lawyer for New Business Permits

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on
Starting a small business is a big challenge. You might be an entrepreneur with a great idea, a great business plan, and a burning desire to be in charge as a business owner. But you should still use an attorney to help you obtain permits and licenses. If you haven't started your business yet, you can complete business formation documents from home with simple, DIY options customized for your state. You do not typically need an attorney for this step. Federal, state, and local licensing laws all vary widely and create competing obligations. As a new small business owner, don't try to save a few bucks by handling these matters on your own. You probably have enough on your plate without having to worry about legal problems that can arise from not having the right licenses and permits.

Finding out What You Need

What you will need for your particular startup depends on the business you will be operating. Foodservice has different requirements than doctor’s offices, and regulation of the sale of some items -- like liquor, gas, and guns -- is more rigorous than for other goods. Restaurateurs will need permits from the health department, while nightclub owners need the approval of fire departments. That's precisely why it is a good idea to hire an experienced business attorney to assist you. Your lawyer can provide guidance on the incorporation and completion of other legal documents. They can provide legal advice about the business licenses and permits that might be required for your startup. They can help you apply, and ensure that you comply with your obligations at every level. A business lawyer is a trained administrator knowledgeable about your startup's legal requirements and the legal issues you may face. Lawyers are experts at tedious but necessary tasks like filling out forms and applications that are part and parcel of business formation and the ongoing needs of any business entity. Although many forms will not technically require a lawyer to complete them, you will benefit enormously from an extra set of eyes and the administrative expertise counsel will bring to your paperwork. Finding the right lawyer to assist you is an important step to take.

The Price for Licensing

The costs of an attorney's licensing and permitting services are impossible to predict without more information. First, it depends on the business you are getting into and what your legal needs will be. Second, it depends on your location—state and tax laws can vary widely. The cost can also depend on whether the lawyer charges an hourly rate or works on a per-project basis. Getting a liquor license from a locality is much more difficult than obtaining an Employer Identification Number from the federal government. Consult with counsel about your business and its needs before deciding permits are no big deal. Getting the forms right the first time can save you much money down the line. Delays in permits and licensing can quickly run up costs on a new business. You will never get to profitability until you get permission to start your business, so paying someone to administrate accurately can be worth it.

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