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The Different Types of Business Licenses Explained


One of the most crucial aspects of starting any smooth-functioning entrepreneurial venture is to have all the licenses, permits and legal ordinances in place to avoid an agonizing brush with the law, which may lead to a loss of credibility, reputation and revenue. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you gain an extensive insight into the types of business licenses.

General Business License

For any business that has a physical location and is housed within city limits, a General Business License has to be mandatorily obtained. The license can take approximately 45 days for approval and has to renewed every 2 years. It is a non-transferable document that costs $ 110 for every two years. If the business is located outside demarcated city limits, the license in handled by county authorities.

Special Business License

There are a few categories of businesses that are sensitive in nature and are subjected to increased scrutiny to avoid criminal and illegal activities. After obtaining a General Business License, some enterprises also need a Special Business License, which has to be passed by the region's Police Department after verifying the fingerprints of the owners along with other routine investigations. The license is valid for a year and costs $125 with a separate finger print charge of $44. It can take up to three months to approve and dispatch the document to the owner. Some businesses that require Special Business Licenses are antique dealers, tobacco retailers, dating services and friendship clubs, automobile dismantlers, carpet cleaning services and many more.

DBA Licences

DBA or a Does Business As License is required for any entrepreneurial venture that doesn't function in the name of the sole properitor, and this category includes small home working enterprises as well. The permit is imporatant from the perspective of filing tax returns and other mandatory business regulatations. A DBA License lets an individual operate company bank accounts and transact in the company name. A DBA License can be obtained by filling out an application at the county clerk's office or by applying online.

Home Workers

Home businesses or home offices with sole proprietorship are subjected to similar ordinances as the general business category and have identical fees and approval guidelines as mentioned in the General Business License. Home workers need to comply with specific zoning code ordinances, and ensure that their enterprise doesn't disturb the peace of the neighborhood and the surroundings. You also have to be careful about not damaging the environment or causing noise pollution. There are a few restrictions that are levied on home workers in relation to the nature of business that can be run from home. It is best to check with local authorities about specific regulations in your area.

Employee Permits

These are permits handed out to self-employed businessmen, like ice-cream vendors and taxi drivers, on the basis of a thorough character scrutiny by the Police Department. It is an annual permit, charged at $ 77 and takes about 3 months to be approved and dispatched to the license holder.

Solicitors Permit

Any entrepreneur who caters to orders in relation to goods (books, magazines and other periodicals, photographs) and services is required to obtain a Solicitor's Permit after a thorough background check is conducted by the Department of Justice. The permit costs $44 and can be applied for by getting in touch with the Business License authorities in your region.

These are broad guidelines for businesses across the country; however every state has its own specific licenses, permits and legal ordinances that have to be adhered to for a hassle-free venture that allows you to concentrate on the technical and financial aspects of the business rather than getting entangled in an awkward legal situation.

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