Starting your business off by investigating the requirements of operation is one of the first things any business owner should do. Several businesses require licensing and certification. Check with business associations or trade associations for the type of business you are seeking to start to find out if any such requirements exist for your business. For example, if you are looking to open a restaurant, you need to you need to contact the “food and drug administration.” If you are opening a grocery store and intend to sell seafood, you must acquire a license from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and could incur a criminal charge if you are found operating without a license. If you are looking into entering the lending business, doing things such as “second chance” financing, or mortgage loans, make sure you check the federal and state requirements to understand the regulations regarding that business.
Failing to obtain the proper licenses for your business can doom you from the start. Many of these requirements come with stiff monetary penalties and sometimes criminal charges for failure to comply. Generally, these types of liabilities are not negotiable and ignorance of the law is no defense. In addition, your business could be shut down or prevented from operating for violating a state or federal licensing requirement.
Many businesses have trade organizations which guide its members and sometimes non-member as to the regulations required in that particular business. It is important to talk to the appropriate authorities to understand what is needed. You may also find that a lot of the applications are lengthy and confusing. Talk to others in the industry to help you navigate the some times treacherous application process.