Starting a business comes with many responsibilities and expenses, one of them is getting a license to operate. Depending on the business you are running, you may need more than one license. If you do not want to deal with all that, you can also hire a licensing company to do the heavy lifting for you. At the end of the day, the important thing is that you are running a licensed business. Here are some of the risks that come with trying to run a business without a license.
Running a business without a license is illegal. Therefore, you can expect to pay a fine or penalty if you are found. This is one of the most common results of failing to comply. The amount you are fined depends on your jurisdiction and how severe the offense is. For instance, if maybe you only missed the deadline for renewing your Georgia contractor license, the penalty will not be as hefty as for someone that has been operating for years without a permit. In other cases, the penalty for operating with an expired business license can be a flat fee. Either way, there is no need to go through costly fines simply because you got a license at the right time.
You can also get arrested for not having a license. Note that running a business without a permit is fraudulent activity. In some fields like law or medicine, practicing without a license will definitely land you in trouble. On top of paying fines and penalties, you have to cover legal fees for hiring an attorney. All these can be avoided by having a license.
Closure of Business
It can be hard to imagine that a license costing about $200 or even $1,000 can lead to business closure, but it is a possible consequence. This mostly happens when you have been receiving notices to renew your license, but you are ignoring them. Eventually, the authorities can come and close your business. Do not ignore these things, assuming it is a minor infringement that will not cost you much. Even if the business is temporarily shut down, you will lose revenue for that period, hurting your business. You can even lose customers.
Loss of Opportunities
Sometimes, not having a license can make you lose business opportunities. Maybe an investor is interested in your business and ready to invest. However, once they learn you do not have a license, they can change their minds as they do not want to risk it. Apart from that, there are also business partnerships opportunities you could miss out on.
You can also ruin your reputation because of not having a license. If you have been sued or arrested, and word spreads that it was due to lack of a license, it will affect your reputation. On top of that, most people often feel that retailers operating without licenses are not selling legitimate products. Sometimes clearing your name can take time.
You can avoid all these consequences by complying with the law. Before opening a business, do your research, understand what is required, and get the necessary permits