Depending on the type of business you have, and the state and local municipality where you do business, there are several complicated situations where you might need help identifying any relevant business licenses that are applicable to your business.
What is a business license?
A business license is a government-issued document that certifies a business is safe for the public. Business licenses can be general licenses from your state or local municipality. Business licenses vary based on the type of business, your industry, and your location.
Click here to read a Collective Guide on Business Licenses.
Is a business license(s) the same as forming a LLC (limited liability company) or other business entity?
Shortly put, no. An LLC is a legally recognized business entity while a business license gives you permission to engage in a specific type of business in a certain jurisdiction. This is not limited to LLCs, but encompasses any legally recognized business entity such as S-Corps, Sole Props, Non-Profits, etc.
When do I need a business license(s)?
Once your business is formed, you can obtain a business license(s) that complies with local rules and regulations. You will see it as a step on your Collective Dashboard during your onboarding process. Collective does not offer assistance with obtaining business license(s), but through our partnership with CSC, you are able to utilize their team for assistance. CSC has a special deal for Collective members and offers business license(s) questionnaires, research and filing packages for $185 (usually $400). Alternatively, you can also check with your local government on what types of business license(s) and permits are required for your business.
Note: Although Collective has connected you with our partner CSC, all email correspondence, requests, and invoices for CSC services are between you and CSC.
Where does Collective come in?
On your Collective Dashboard, you might have noticed the below screenshot. This will allow you to either upload your business license(s) or you can reach out to [email protected] to be put in touch with our partner CSC. If you would like Collective to connect you with CSC, first you will need to complete the CSC questionnaire.
What happens once I request assistance from CSC?
You will receive an email from the CSC team similar to the one below. You will be informed that you will receive your business license research, but there is no action that you need to take.
Note: In order to begin the research phase, you will have to first complete the CSC questionnaire.
What are the next steps?
You will first complete the CSC questionnaire which will be utilized by CSC for business license(s) research and ongoing renewal filings.
If there are filings needing to be completed, CSC will provide all necessary information to their internal business license team who then reaches out to you and works on filing the appropriate licenses.
If no filings need to be completed, CSC will inform you that there are no licenses that need to be filed following the research.
Once CSC completes the research, you will be sent the Business License Research Package, but no action is necessary. A separate email will be sent requesting for you to set up your CSC account login.
A member of the CSC’s Business License team will reach out to you to assist with filing the license(s) found during the research. Filing business license(s) is a team effort so you will have an introductory call to level set and discuss planning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does filling out the CSC questionnaire initiate a fee?
Yes, it is assumed that you are now utilizing CSC for business license(s) research and ongoing renewal filings.
Why was I sent blank business tax applications from CSC?
It is part of the research package. When a license is found to be needed for your business, CSC will send along all of the material that accompanies it. CSC will assist you with filling out all necessary forms.
Is CSC just researching if I need a business license via the blank forms, or requesting that I fill out and send them back so CSC can file them on my behalf?
No, the CSC questionnaire is the only form that will be required to be filled out by you so CSC can begin the business license research. Regardless if CSC is completing the filing or not, the other forms sent are automatic. You will be notified ahead of time not to take any action.
When does the CSC payment kick in, and how much does it cost at each step?
CSC invoices directly to you for each portion separately. Research phase is $95, and the filing phase is $90. CSC offers a special deal (55% off) exclusively to Collective members. The Business License Research and Filing packages are for $185 (usually $400).
Will I have to file anything or does CSC take care of the whole process?
CSC will take care of the whole process, but you will need to be in communication as there may be additional things the CSC Business License team needs along the way.