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License Required - Articles Surfing
Before you can open for business, you must first get a license. There are several types of license that may be needed before you begin operation. Without the proper permits, you may be operating your business illegally. Most businesses need a city or county license. There may also be other requirements from the state or federal government for certain types of licenses.
Most states require a special license to sell firearms. Some may even require one to sell gasoline, tobacco, and liquor. Certain professions also require special licenses. They include Real Estate Agents, Auctioneers, Appraisers and Contractors. Some businesses require a federal license, such as, manufacturing tobacco, alcohol or firearms. TV and Radio stations also must have a federal license.
Most small business licenses are pretty easy to get. First start with your County Court Clerk. If you are locating in a city, the city clerk should be able to point you in the right direction. To purchase a small business license, you usually must pay a fee, which is normally a minimal charge. However, getting some licenses may be more complicated. The laws for selling firearms are very different from the laws for selling groceries.
What name you put on the business license is also very important. Once you register your business name, that name legally is yours, however, in some states, unless your business is a corporation more than one business can use the same name. Using a business name allows you to open bank accounts, receive checks written to your business and give you an identity to your customers.
Today, most banks require you to have a business license in order to open an account in a business name. A business should have a separate account. Even though there is a little more expense by having a personal and business account, most business owners agree that bookkeeping is much easier with separate accounts.
One other permit that is required in order to open a business is a *certificate of resale.* This allows you to collect the state sales tax from your customers. Without this permit, most legitimate wholesale companies will not allow you to purchase items from them. This certificate shows that you are purchasing items from them with the intent to resell the merchandise to another customer.
Once you make a sale, you are required to collect sales tax from the customer. At the end of the reporting period, which can vary by state, the business owner is required to file a report with the state and submit the taxes that have been collected. Most states do not usually tax services such as lawyer fees and accountants. The rate of the sales tax varies by where your business is located. Even different counties and cities have different rates. Your state Department of Revenue will give you information about the rates each area has and what the requirements are for applying for a certificate of resale.
Some business owners are required to get a Federal tax ID. It is also known as Employer Identification Number or EIN. This number identifies your business on government forms. If your business has employees or is a corporation, it is required that you receive an EIN. There are other situations that an EIN may be required that your accountant can help you determine if you need one or not.
To receive an EIN, you must contact the Internal Revenue Service. However, it is easy to apply. Contact your local IRS office for information about how to apply.
Once you have all of your licenses and certificates in order, picked out your location, verified any zoning ordinances, you are almost ready to open for business.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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