Business licensing requirements refer to the various license and certification needs that a business needs to fulfill in order to operate in a particular area. These can vary by state and according to the type of business involved. Actually, license laws can vary from city to city, and even in different places within the same city.
This is because license requirements may vary depending on issues like geography, zoning, and environmental factors. For instance, there may be different requirements for businesses operating in a business area as compared with home-based businesses.
Depending on the type of business being operated, various licenses and permits may be required. Also, there may be different requirements based on federal and state laws. Some license topics can include:
- Licenses and permits to sell certain subjects (especially liquor licenses and gun sale licenses)
- Environmental licenses- these can include federal requirements, such as those involving fishing and wildlife; mining of natural resources; and maritime licenses
- Licenses related to dumping and disposal of waste
- Professional licenses (such as: dentistry/medical licenses, aviation licenses, psychology licenses, etc.)
- Licenses related to corporations and corporate activities
Following licensing requirements is especially important for smaller startup businesses. Failure to follow license procedures and requirements can lead to negative effects for the business.
Failure to obtain a proper license when required, or failure to maintain a currently valid license, can result in legal consequences. These can include:
- Suspension of business rights
- Overall loss of operating privileges
- In some cases, criminal consequences can result (such as criminal fines and possible jail times; this is common for violations related to pollution and dumping)
A common mistake is where a business moves forward on the assumption that their license is current and valid, when in fact it has expired. It’s important to ensure that that all licenses are valid and that all local, state, and federal laws are being followed.
Business licensing laws can be complex. They might involve a mixing or an overlapping of federal, state, county, and city laws. You may wish to hire a business lawyer if you need help with any business license issues. Your attorney can help you with filing requirements, researching laws, and other tasks. Also, if you need to file a lawsuit or will be involved in a lawsuit, your lawyer can represent you during the court processes.