We know you’re excited to start your small business, ready to hit the ground running and be your own boss. But put on the brakes for just a minute. Your new business needs the right licenses and permits to operate, or you’ll be in violation of the law from Day One. This is true for online, single-owner and home-based businesses, too. In fact, it’s one of the most common mistakes we see new business owners make.

The licensing and permitting requirements for your business depend on a lot of factors, including what you do, whether you have employees, and where you’re located. Getting it right requires research, or partnering with a team of business startup experts.

What Licenses Do I Need?

There is no simple answer to this question, and the formula varies for every new business. Before you start researching licensing, here are some questions to as that can help guide you.

  • Where do I do business? You will need a business license from the municipality or county where your business is located. Depending on what you do, you may need a special permit or variance to operate out of your home or in the location of your choice.
  • What do I do? If you are a retailer, you will need to register to pay state sales tax. Certain professionals like plumbers, home healthcare providers, cosmetologists, and more need state licenses to practice their trades. Some businesses are licensed by the federal government.
  • What do I sell? You may need a special license from your state or the federal government to sell or manufacture certain items.
  • Will I have employees? If your business is a corporation or partnership, or if it has employees, it will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, which is like a Social Security number for your business. Sole proprietors without employees are not required to get EINs.

Getting Help

It can be tricky to navigate the licenses and permits, especially when combined with the work you’re doing to get your new business off the ground. But you don’t have to go it alone. The business startup experts at the Numbers House can help you get things right the first time. Give us a call at (865) 294-7300 or email us at hello@thenumbershouse.com to find out more.

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