How to apply for a business permitEveryone has a desire to start something that they can call their own, with businesses being a top preference in most cases. If you choose to start a business, there are various essential requirements that you are expected to meet. This is will be imperative so as to run your business legally. Applying for a business permit is mandatory, but this may vary, mainly, depending on your particular type of business, as well as the particular state that you live in. Here are some of the key steps to follow so as to acquire the right permit for your business.

Business Structure

Before making a formal application for a business permit, you should have the business structure in mind. This will determine the type permit and taxation protocol for your business. Some of the most common business structures include:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Corporation

You should have a name for your business which could be your legal name. However, if you choose to use a different name, you would need to file for a Fictitious Firm Name Certificate, which is commonly referred to as, Doing Business As – DBA. This will be filed with the office of the County Clerk.

File Forms

Once you have the business name and structure in place, you should file the formal application for your business permit with the city finance department. You can do this through the US mail or submit the application online, through the official website provided. There is a filing fee that you will be expected to pay, and this varies depending on your location and nature of business. The fee ranges from $50 to about $400 and in some cases you will pay an additional amount as the processing fee.

Provide Supporting Documents

When you are filing for a business permit, you should have all supporting documents in place. This is mostly required for purposes of identification. Once you have submitted your forms, you will be required to wait for the permit. This will, again, vary depending on the type of business that you are running. The maximum waiting period is about two weeks if all documents are in order. You will be notified when the permit is ready, and you are expected to pick it in person with proof of identification. You may be fingerprinted, if your prints are not already in the system.

Retail Sales License

Check with your State Department of Taxation so as to confirm other permits, which you will require for your business. Some of the licenses that may be applicable include exemption certificate, resale permit or subject to use tax permit. The fees will vary depending in with your state provisions. You should check with the Department of Taxation for this and more information.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If you have employees or partners, you should ensure that each has an EIN, which is used as the federal tax identification number. This will apply even to sole proprietorships and this is the number used for purposes of taxing wages. You can fill out Form SS-4 online so as to get the EIN required in a short time. The zoning ordinances are also important to familiarize yourself with. You should confirm if your business is a location that is zoned for the type of business that you intend to carry out.

In most cases, opening a business bank account would require one to have some of the permits and licenses mentioned above. You should ensure that you comply with all the provisions when you are applying for a business permit so as to any inconveniences. If you do not meet the set obligations, you may have to incur unnecessary fines as a penalty for punitive liability.

Once you start operations in your business, you should follow all the rules that are laid out. You should be conversant with the renewal period for all the permits that you have, according to the laws in your location. In some locations, the business permit should be displayed at all times in the business premises. There may be random inspections carried out so as to verify that businesses are compliant and have valid permits.

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