Ok, so you’re ready to start-up your business — either online, home based, or (the old-fashioned way) in a brick-and-mortar building. What do you need to do to make sure you’re operating legally? Here is a checklist of some essential first steps:
√ Get a Business License
Contact your local government to find out what sort of license is required for the type of business you plan to open. Most cities and counties now have websites where you can download the application forms, as well as get further information. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you have a home business you don’t need a license — most cities will require one and can impose penalties if you fail to get a license or you wait until after you’ve already been doing business for a while. Some local governments even have arrangements with state tax authorities to check returns for home-based business income generated by unlicensed businesses.
Also, check to make sure your business complies with local zoning requirements, especially if you are operating from your home. Finally, make sure you have the permits necessary for your particular type of business operation (e.g., food preparation, liquor sales, daycare, etc.). Again, you can get this information from your city or county website, or by contacting your local government office or town hall. Read more