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Making It Legal

Do you really need a license to get homebased operations under way?

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Do you really need a license to get homebased operations under way?

You need a license to drive a car and one to get married, but do you need oneto start your homebased business? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, you shouldfind out for sure before you officially open up.

"You could be shut down if the authorities find out you're operating withoutthe proper licenses," says Joan Scheel, assistant state director of the UtahSmall Business Development Center in Salt Lake City. More than likely, they'lljust tell you to get a license, but you might have to pay fines or penaltiesfor an illegal operation. Either way, Scheel points out it's much easier toavoid problems by starting out in full compliance with the law.

So how do you know what you need? Business and professional licensingrequirements vary by state and sometimes even by community. Scheel adviseschecking with your state's tax commission, department of revenue, or businessand professional regulation department to find out whether your businessrequires a state-issued license. In addition, you may need a local license orpermit (for details on that, contact your city hall or county administrationoffices). Or visit your nearest Small Business Development Center for help witha wide range of start-up issues.