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Do you need to buy a business license right off the bat?
Thinking of starting a business with a family member

 3:39 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't have a product, I just know I want to get a business going sometime pretty soon.

I am wondering if I need to purchase a business license immediately, or do I buy it after making a certain amount of money, or do I buy it after being off the ground for a while?

Anyone know?

Oh yeah, a note: I'm in Canada, if that affects your answer.



 4:01 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

The only time I ever worried about getting a business license was when I started making money. That, of course, is in the US.


 5:07 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

The above advice works if your official start date is later than when you actually started your business. But it would look suspicious if you are taking deductions on "business expenses" when you are not licensed to run one. I suggest taking a small business class and write a business plan. I think it provides a clearer framework for your future business...


 5:27 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

oops, my reply was based on usa.


 11:55 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I suggest taking a small business class and write a business plan."
Good idea, thanks.

And I suppose you're right that it would look a bit weird to have the Business Expenses being written off ;)

Thanks to Scott for your post, but I'm expecting to write some of the expenses off, so that won't quite work out.

And thanks for trying fishy.


 6:09 am on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Becarful building a business with a friend or family member.

On the two occasions ive done ive had trouble.

The problem is in the fact neither of you have any authority over the other.

Both of you think you know whats best and will argue for hours. When I did back down the business went in to terminal decline only to have the other 'friend' attempt to blame me and others when the offical receiver was called in.

So err dont do it unless you are very sure.


 6:59 am on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

You might not even need a business license. Where I live, in an unincorporated part of a county in California, a business license is not required if all business is conducted online.

Check into it. I know it is different all over the US and probably different all over CAnada.


 12:31 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)


Once you get that business license the tax collectors will want to collect. Where I live (Charlotte, NC, USA) there would be a city property tax to pay for property necessary for the business and the sales tax people will start sending you forms to fill out. It's not a state or federal law to have one here. I wouldn't worry about it until/unless your business occupies a building.

You don't need a license to deduct expenses.


 11:01 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

You can also move to Montana and then you don't need one unless your in city here.......


 3:39 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

"You can also move to Montana and then you don't need one unless your in city here....... "
Sounds a bit like I'd be over-doing it were I to do this.

I don't think there'll be any power struggle between me and this family member.

I'll check to see if it's an absolute requirement to have a business license here, and if there are any loopholes I can find that can help me not require one.

Thanks again for the help, everyone.


 5:01 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not you are going to sell a physical product and will be dealing with a manufacturer. Some will require a copy of not only a resale certificate(sales tax) but also a business license.

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