Launching a business requires both big-picture thinking and attention to detail. As a business owner, you need to be a project manager who oversees everyday tasks and a strategist who looks at the business holistically.
If you’re an entrepreneur launching a business endeavor,
you have to keep pace with all the logistical requirements of starting and maintaining a company. And an essential part of opening a business is ensuring that you follow all laws and regulations at the local, state, and national levels to avoid potential lawsuits. You also have to keep industry standards in mind to stay compliant and avoid penalties and fines.
Lastly, you must have adequate insurance to protect your business from unexpected claims and risks, which can be quite costly for a small business. Keep on reading to learn more about the logistics that prospective business owners have to plan for.
Most small businesses require different permits from state and federal agencies to operate or take on specific projects. The costs and requirements of acquiring the permits vary depending on the federal laws, location, and specific activities. Typical business permits include:
- Zoning Permits– Zoning permits are issued at the city level and helps businesses stay within the parameters of their location’s zoning laws. You need a business permit anytime you proceed with construction, expansion, or change in occupancy and use of the physical building.
- Fire Department Permit– Businesses that are open to the public must have certification from their local fire department.
- DBA Permit– A DBA (doing business as) permit is required for businesses that go by a title other than the business owner’s name.
- Health Permits– Businesses involved in food handling and preparation must possess a health permit.
- Environmental Permits– Depending on the type of work you conduct and where you do business, you may need environmental permits regarding factors like air emissions, waste generation, and water discharge.
- Building or Construction Permits– If you’re building a new structure or making changes to an existing structure, you’ll likely need commercial building permits.
- Sign Permit– Many municipalities require businesses to obtain a permit before putting up a sign outside their business property.
The above list doesn’t cover all the permits—each business is unique, and states have different regulations. You must know what permits are required in your area for your business and activities. Be sure to visit your municipal, city, or county offices to inquire about these permits.
You must have a license to do business anywhere in the country, and the type of license you need depends on your business operations. In some cases, you’ll require several licenses from different agencies and local offices. A few of the most common required business licenses include:
- General License– This is the typical license you’ll need in any location to do a business.
- Occupational License– If you’re a professional, such as a lawyer, dentist, or accountant, an occupational license is mandatory.
- Sales Tax License– If you deal in goods and services in an area that charges sales tax, this license is necessary.
- Federal or State Licenses– If you operate within an industry that’s closely regulated by the federal government or state authorities, you’ll likely need additional licensing.
It’s also essential to purchase insurance policies to protect your business from costly claims and risks, such as fire and natural disasters. Over 70 percent of businesses are underinsured, putting them at risk of expensive lawsuits. Here are some of the policies worth purchasing:
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance– This policy is vital in covering your employees when they are injured at the workplace and is legally required for most businesses. It covers medical bills and lost wages.
- General Liability Insurance– Commonly known as CGL, this plan covers third-party property damage and injuries, such as injured customers or clients.
- Commercial Property Insurance– You can get this policy to cover unexpected repair and maintenance costs.
- Cyber Insurance– With increased cases of cyber attacks, data breaches, and malware, you might need this cover to keep your business secure.
- Commercial Auto Insurance– You can also get this insurance to protect your business from the cost of vehicle accidents and thefts.
Bear in mind that there are also more industry-specific policies, such as professional liability insurance, liquor liability insurance, media liability insurance, etc. You’ll need these depending on the nature of your business.
How much small business insurance costs? Well, the cost depends on the type of insurance you want, amount of coverage, industry, property owned, and location. Generally, most policies range from $30 to $100 per month.
Take Care Your Small Business Logistics
Ensuring a smooth operation for your small business involves meeting local and federal business requirements as well as protecting your assets and business. Before launching your business, be sure you have acquired the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance policies. Things will run much smoother if you take care of these basics right from the get-go.