What You Should Know about Business Licenses and Permits

If you’re looking to start your own gift business, first things first. Congratulations! Starting your own business is a huge step and a great way to live your life – in control of your finances, future and freedom. The next step, once you’ve done your planning, figured out what type of business you’re going to open and how you’re going to do, is to make sure you have all of the licenses and permits aligned so you stay safe and out of trouble with local, state, and federal agencies.

Essentially, you can divide your required licenses and permits into two categories:

* Must have
* Might need to have.

Must Have

# EIN. You must have an EIN or a tax identification number. This is acquired by visiting the IRS website and filling out a form. If you’re going to be reporting income under your social security number, then you don’t necessarily need an EIN; however, most of the time it pays to have one and report your business income separately.

# Register with the state. You will also need to register your business with your state. Each state has their own process for this, but you can likely find all the information you need if you visit your local state government website.

But what about all those “might need to haves?”

Might Need To Have

This depends in large part on what your business is, where you live and where you’re doing business. To sell products, you’ll need to obtain a sales tax license. And if you’re manufacturing anything, you may need zoning permits to do this – whether you’re in your home or in an office.

Here are some of the business licenses and permits you might need to have:

# Occupational and professional licenses. These are issued by the state and are specific to certain industries. F

# Employer Registration. If you’re planning on hiring anyone, you’ll need to contact your state Department of Revenue because you’ll need to pay unemployment insurance.

Most of the time, obtaining the proper licenses, registrations and permits is a straightforward process and the majority of it, if not all of it, can be accomplished online. To find out what licenses and permits your business needs, visit your local small business association and/or your local government website.

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