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  • Writer's pictureCalla Norman

Top Questions to Ask About Small Business Permits

Have you ever opened a new space and then had all your progress halted by some permit office telling you to stop until you have the right piece of paper to continue? It happens to us all. 

The hardest part about opening a new location shouldn't be getting permits, and more permits. Or even more permits. Here's how to ask the right questions so you don't get "new" permit requirements by surprise. 

Ask, “What other permits do you see us needing before we open?" 

When it comes to permits, often you may not know what you don’t know. Be up front with the office when you’re opening up so that you’re not met with surprises. There’s often permits you might not have heard about. This is the perfect opportunity to ask what other permits you should know about and what you need to do to get them. There may be permits you need specifically pertaining to your business, like a liquor license. 

Here’s a list of some permits and licenses you should make sure you have if you need them: 

  • Basic business operation license

  • DBA/fictitious business name registration

  • Home occupation permit 

  • Zoning and land use permits

  • Building permits

  • Health department permit

  • Fire and police department permits 

  • Alarm permits

  • Special state-issued business licenses or permits (such as liquor licenses)

  • Special state-issued occupational licenses (if you operate a regulated business such as auto repair or something health services related)

Ask, “What are the top 3 reasons permits get delayed?" 

Knowing those pitfalls will be so important in expediting the process and getting your permits settled ASAP. Make sure to have all your paperwork in order and your ducks in a row, because if you’re not ready you might end up in permit purgatory. 

Ask around to your community about business permits. 

Talk to other business owners - those similar to you, those who’ve opened up recently as well - and ask them about their experience getting permits. Trust us, most people have horror stories about dealing with this bureaucracy, and perhaps you can learn something from them to avoid pain in the future. 

Don’t let funding be what keeps you from opening

Permits are just one of the obstacles that keep small businesses from opening their doors on time. Don’t let lack of funding be one more of them - learn more about how Honeycomb Credit can help you access fast, fair, and affordable funding and set you up for success in the future! 


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