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Permission, Please

You might be your own boss, but you still have to answer to a higher power: the licenses and permits you need to make your business legal.

This story appears in the January 2003 issue of Teen Startups.

OK, let's review the checklist for opening your business's doors to the public. Got your signage? Check. Business cards and fliers? Check. Inventory? Check. Licenses and permits? Er, hold up on that one. What licenses and permits?

That's the question 17-year-old Justin Wilkinson found himself asking the day he received a letter from the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Wilkinson raises more than 100 songbirds, which he sells to local pet stores and bird lovers through his DeWitt, Iowa-based business, J.A.M. singers.

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