Business Licenses and Permits: Past vs. Present

Business Licenses and Permits: Past vs. Present

Owning and operating a business requires having the right licenses and permits in place to conduct business legally in California. Aside from licenses and permits, one also needs a federal tax ID number. This ID number is used by state and local governments to ensure the business is paying the appropriate taxes like sales taxes.

The only way to get around paying sales taxes when your business purchases goods or services from another business is to have a resale certificate. If your business sells to other businesses, it is a good idea to check their resale certificate in California prior to waiving sales taxes.

Business Licenses and Permits: Then

The use of business licenses and permits can be traced back centuries. Here in California, the use of business licenses and permits started to become more prevalent in the early 1900s. In order to be licensed or permitted by the state, one would have to fill out an application, pay a fee, and then submit it for approval.

The approval process often started locally in one’s county clerk’s office. The clerk’s office would review the application against local and county records to ensure there were no conflicts. Afterward, the application also could be sent to the state’s government licensing offices to be reviewed.

Checking the application locally and at the state level reduced the likelihood of having two business with similar names selling similar products. It also made sure that if the business names were identical that the products or services being sold were in differing industries, like Dove chocolates and Dove soaps.

The process to get business licenses and permits approved could take weeks, sometimes months. It was a slow, tedious process, but, thanks to advances in technology, things slowly started to change.

Business License and Permits: Now

As technology has improved greatly in the past 20 years or so, the process of obtaining business licenses and permits has gotten much easier and faster. You still have to fill out an application and pay a fee. Rather than having to go to your local county clerk’s office to start the process, you can download the application off the internet.

In some counties, you may even be able to fill out your application electronically and pay any fees through a secure payment site. In addition, if you want to apply for seller’s permits, resale certificates, and other such things that you will need to conduct business once you have your business license, you can do these things online as well.

Business License and Permits

The process to obtain your business license and permits can be as fast as a few days to a few weeks. Since all business licenses and permits are now stored electronically, it makes comparing your application to them much easier by searching the appropriate databases.

One could even find out if your business name is being used in other states or nationally by a larger business operation! As you can see, the process to obtain business licenses and permits is much more efficient today.
For assistance in obtaining your California seller’s permit and resale certificate, please feel free to contact or call us at (415) 857-3301 today!

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