TRUTH 18 The paper chase: Obtaining business licenses and permits

If you’re anxious to get your business started, the last thing you normally want to do is deal with government paperwork. Do it anyway. It’s important to obtain the licenses and permits you need. You can also be subject to stiff penalties if you don’t comply in a timely manner.

Most of the licenses and permits you’ll need are required to be in place before your business opens. They vary by city, county, and state, as well as by the type of business you plan to start, so study the regulations carefully. Some licenses are difficult to get—such as liquor licenses. For example, in some states, the only way to get a liquor license is to buy a preexisting license. This stipulation ...

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