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Do You Have A License To Do Business?

Be Sure To Have A Valid Business License With Your City, Or You Could Land In Hot Water.



As business owners, we have a lot on our minds. Generate sales, produce a product, take care of customers, manage employees, and keep the competitors at bay. We often forget about all the administrative duties that we also have on our plates - things like filing for business licenses and keeping business information up-to-date with the governmental powers-that-be. Yet these small tasks, however insignificant in your mind, have the power to sink your company quickly if not managed.


Every state, and almost every local city or town, has policies and procedures that a business must follow. For the privilege of doing business in a town, you often have to file for a business license. The business license formally tells the local government that 1) you exist (so they can find you), and 2) you are generating revenue (so they can tax you!).


Whenever you establish your business in a new town, make sure you understand their business licensing policies and procedures. Every town can be different. Some towns require you to simply pay a bi-annual fee, others require you to submit a tax return-like document detailing your revenues or property owned. Others don't even have a licensing policy. So you must do your research and understand what is required of you.


For example, the District of Columbia requires you to fill out a simple form and pay a small fee every two years to maintain a valid business license. Philadelphia doesn't charge a fee and has no renewal requirement - just go onto their website, fill out a simple form once and you are set for life. Arlington County (VA) requires you to report the revenue you generate from within the county on an annual basis, and assesses your license fee accordingly.


The penalties for not complying can be stiff - from monetary damages to even banning you from doing business in that location! So it's definitely something you don't want to forget or dismiss.


If you don't want to fuss with all this regulatory stuff, or are just worried that you might not do it right, then contact us. We would be happy to assist you in getting all your local paperwork filed, and keeping you in good standing. Schedule a free consultation with us and let's chat!

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