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?
Business licenses, aka Occupational Licenses, are permits issued by government agencies that allow individuals or companies to conduct business within the government's geographical jurisdiction. It is the authorization to start a business issued by the local government.
Is a business license the same as forming a LLC?
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.
How do I obtain a business license?
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 services for assistance. CSC has a special deal for Collective members and offers business license(s) questionnaires, research and filing packages for $95. 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. You may contact CSC at [email protected].
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 CSC has received your request for business license research.
You will then be contacted by Yaxier Torres, CSC's Affiliate Solutions Manager to inform you of next steps and answer any questions regarding the process.
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.
CSC will conduct the research to determine what (if any) business licenses are required. It can take a couple of weeks to complete the research.
CSC will email you the evidence of the research with an attachment of the Business License Research Package. The package will include the requirements at the Federal, State, County, and Local levels.
If there are licenses that are required, the research package will include information about the license and instructions on how to apply for the license with blank forms to be completed.
If no licenses are required, CSC will inform you that there are no licenses that need to be filed following the research. Please note that you will still receive an invoice for $95 since CSC had to complete the research to learn that no licenses are required.
You can use the instructions and forms to apply for the license yourself, or you can email CSC to apply for the license on your behalf. There is an additional fee of $90 per filing for CSC to apply for the license for you.
If you have any questions regarding the research results, you can contact CSC to assist.
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 can 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?
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. CSC will provide you with the research results that may include forms that need to be completed to apply for a business license along with instructions on how to apply. You can use the instructions and forms to apply for the license yourself, or you can email CSC to apply for the licenses on your behalf. There is an additional fee of $90 per filing for CSC to apply for the license for you.
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. CSC offers a special deal exclusively to Collective members. $95 for conducting the business license research, and a $90 filing fee per license if you choose CSC to help apply for the license for you.
Will I have to file anything or does CSC take care of the whole process?
CSC will take care of conducting the research and will provide you with the results to show if a business license is required. The research results will also include the application and instructions to apply for the business license. They will not automatically apply for the business license for you. You can apply for the license on your own using the forms & instructions CSC provided, or you can choose to have CSC apply for the license for you for an additional fee ($90/license).
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or tax advice. It is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining accounting or other financial advice from an appropriate financial adviser or for the purpose of avoiding U.S. Federal, state or local tax payments and penalties.