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West Palm Beach Bankruptcy & Business Attorneys > > Business Litigation > What Happens if You Operate a Business without a License?

What Happens if You Operate a Business without a License?


Starting a small business is a big undertaking. From getting a lease to insurance to permits and licenses, you have so much to do and so many fees to pay. On top of all of that, you will still have federal and state tax, city tax, state tax and even self-employment tax on earned revenue.

While you may think filing for a license will save you some money, ignoring a local business license could end up costing you more.

Business Licenses: A Few Basics

A business license is through your city or county and it gives you legal permission to operate your business and earn money within that region. It is a legal document that allows you to open a business in the first place. You can easily find out where to file and how to get a license through the Small Business Administration or by hiring a business attorney.

What Happens if You Operate without a Business License?

Not having a business license is serious. While you may not be thrown behind bars, the consequences of having a business illegally in the state of Florida can still be severe. You may face temporary closure until you can pay your fines and file the proper license or you may have to keep your business shut while your case is heard. In some cases, you may be denied a license because you operated without one forcing you to close for good.

But, the government won’t come in and physically lock you up; they leave you up to that task; however, if you refuse, then they will impose heavy fines, fees, and even penalties for operating without a license.

But, operating without a business opens up the door to lawsuits, and that is where things can get hairy for a business owner. Because you are operating illegally, a consumer who decides to sue you has a better chance of winning their lawsuit simply because you are already acting negligently by being unlicensed. That could mean your business is bankrupted by a simple lawsuit.

Lastly, having a license gives you a lot of perks, especially if you need investors or you want to open a business account to monitor your funds. Business loans will not be issued to a business that does not have a license either.

Hire a West Palm Beach Business Attorney

Skip the hassles of not having a license and hire the attorneys at the Law Office of Kelley Kaplan & Eller today. We can assist you with business formation so that you not only get a license, but have the right permits and structure so you get off to a great start. Call us now to schedule your no obligation consultation.

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