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Licenses & Permits

You’ve set up your New York LLC or corporation, obtained your EIN number, and opened your corporate bank account. It’s off to the races! From here on out, you shouldn’t need to worry about any more pesky filings with the state, right?

Well, maybe.

New York requires certain types of businesses to obtain licenses or consents to operate. Classic examples include restaurants, barber shops, and day care centers. But many other types of businesses also need to get consent or clearance from the state, and what exactly that looks like depends on the business’s purpose and how it will operate.

As is the case in every state, you’ll have to pay attention to both state and local laws and regulations. Many businesses will need to obtain consents at both the state and city or county level. Additionally, some businesses may need to obtain federal permits or clearances (restaurants and food processors, for example, may need to meet certain requirements set forth by the FDA).

Fortunately, both New York State and New York City make it relatively easy to determine what licenses, permits, or clearances you may need to get your business up and running. Both the state and the city offer online wizards that ask you a series of questions and then tell you what, if any, licenses or permits you need to form and run your business. This is helpful in determining the amount of time and money that you’ll need to put in upfront to get your business off the ground.

You can access the wizards herefor New York State and here for New York City.

Of course, actually obtaining and maintaining your state and local licenses is a complicated task, and it’s best to work with a lawyer who is familiar with the process and knows what the state and city need to process your request. Beyond the potential damage that can arise from neglecting to obtain a required license, having your application continually rejected because of a deficiency can cause you to lose a lot of time and money as you wait to finally open your business.

An experienced attorney can give you an idea of the timeline and process for obtaining the licenses and permits that you need. Be sure to get a written explanation of the process, along with cost and time estimates, up front, so you can plan accordingly.