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Business Licensing And Permits in San Diego

California is home to numerous aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own businesses, and there are many steps that must be completed when starting a business or purchasing an existing business in the Golden State. You need to secure adequate startup capital, create a business plan, form the right entity to fit your specific needs, and obtain the proper business licensing and permits.

Regardless of the size and type of business, you will most likely need some type of license, permit, or registration certificate in order to operate legally in California. Figuring out what is needed and how to go about completing the steps can be a daunting task, however – especially if you have limited prior business experience. To help ensure that you have all of your bases covered, it is best to work with a skilled and knowledgeable business lawyer.

The business attorneys and staff at Garmo and Garmo, LLP have experience assisting business owners with all aspects of starting, buying, selling, and transferring a business. We offer a one-stop shop for all your business needs. We can assist you from the initial steps of locating the right business for you, entity formation, drafting a business purchase agreement, lease review, opening of escrow, and acquiring all necessary licensing and permits required to do business.

Our office has helped thousands of clients who are in numerous types of businesses, including but not limited to:

  • Hotels
  • Offices
  • Gyms
  • Restaurants
  • Liquor Stores
  • Supermarkets
  • Smoke Shops
  • Hookah Lounges
  • Bars
  • Clubs
  • Gas Stations
  • Car Washes
  • Clothing Boutiques
  • Other Retail Stores

Our team has assisted clients in acquiring the various licenses and permits required to operate their businesses. Our staff is very familiar with the documents and applications needed for each license and/or permit, and we have a thorough understanding of the precise information that is required. This may include:

  • Fictitious business statements
  • Local business licenses
  • Tobacco licenses
  • Liquor (ABC) licenses
  • Lottery licenses
  • Grocery vendor licenses
  • Check cashing licenses
  • Western union/MoneyGram Licenses
  • Health Permits
  • BOE Sellers Permits

In addition to acquiring licenses and permits for our clients, our staff has a unique relationship with several government agencies whom you must deal with in order to acquire the necessary licenses and permits. By having this relationship, our office can process applications and documents with these agencies much more efficiently, allowing our clients to accomplish their goals faster. Our office regularly deals with government agencies such as:

  • The Secretary of State
  • Board of Equalization
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)
  • Food and Nutrition Program (EBT)
  • California Lottery
  • Women, Infants, & Children (WIC)

As you will need to work with these agencies on a regular basis, having a team who understands how to deal with them will be a great asset, allowing you to smoothly and seamlessly accomplish your business goals.

California Business License Requirements

California does not require every business that operates within the Golden State to obtain a state business license, although one may very well be required depending on the type of business you are in. For example, there are several types of professional activities that will require a state license; these include health care professionals, attorneys, accountants, architects, engineers, real estate professionals, building contractors, hair stylists, and private investigators.

The procedures for obtaining a professional license will vary from one industry to another. For example, you may need to meet various educational and training requirements, you may need a certain amount of professional experience, or you may need to complete a combination of these requirements. For a complete guide to California professional licensing, go to: http://www.businessportal.ca.gov/registration-permits/professional-licensure-guide/

Most California businesses do not require a federal license or permit, but there are some federallyregulated business activities in which this may be required. These include:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Aviation
  • Agriculture
  • Fish and Wildlife
  • Firearms
  • Commercial Fisheries
  • Mining and Drilling
  • Maritime Transportation
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Transportation and Logistics

For federally regulated businesses, you or your lawyer will need to contact the appropriate federal agency and find out and fulfill the requirements.

General Business Licenses in California

Even if you do not require any type of special state or federal license to do business in the Golden State, this does not mean you are in the clear. Virtually every city and county in California requires businesses to obtain a license to operate locally – even if you are a one-man operation running a sideline business out of your home.

The requirements for each locality are different, and some cities and counties will mandate that you to complete several other steps before applying; such as obtaining a state tax identification number, registering your trade name, registering a business entity, and securing zoning approval. The fees for each jurisdiction are different as well, with some localities charging a flat rate for the license, others charging a percentage of gross sales, and still others charging a combination of the two.

If you are conducting business within the city limits, you or your lawyer will want to check with the local city government to learn the specific licensing requirements. If the area is unincorporated, then you will go to the county in which your business will resides to find out what is required. Failure to obtain a business license from the appropriate locality can subject you to fines, and you may even be prevented from operating until you are licensed.

It is important to note that if you have multiple locations that are in different areas, you will need a separate business license for each location. It is also important to note that at California cities and counties have two different names that they use to refer to this documentation; a “business license” or the “business tax certificate.” You may run across both terms if you are registering your business in more than one locality, but they are essentially the same thing.

Speak with an Experienced San Diego Business Licensing and Permits Lawyer

Obtaining business licenses and permits is one of many confusing steps that must be completed in order to operate a business legally in California. At the very least, you will need to be registered to do business in your local city or county. In addition, there are numerous other special licenses and permits you may need to secure, along with many other hurdles that must be cleared, depending on the type of business you are in.

For strong legal guidance with business licenses, permits, registrations, and all other business legal matters in Southern California, contact Garmo and Garmo, LLP to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our office today at 619-441-2500 or message us through our online contact form.

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