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Bid Ocean Network, Your Business Wellness Center

Acquisition of Business Licenses and Permits

Licenses and permits are required for your business to start operating. The type of business you have determines which ones you are required to apply for. These differ from state to state and across localities thus a full knowledge of the rules on licenses and permits is ideal. Otherwise, your business may be at risk of being heavily fined or closed because of non-observance or improper abeyance of these requirements.

Getting Licenses and Permits

Activities regulated by the federal government require federal licensing. The following are information useful for determining which licenses and permits are applicable to your business.

  • Agriculture

    The importation and transport of animals, animal products, biologic, biotechnology and plants through states require permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  • Alcohol and Tobacco

    Special taxes and specific records at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) are required by federal law for manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and retailers of alcoholic beverages. Moreover, operations permit is needed for alcohol and tobacco businesses above the retail level.

    Mini-producers or those operating small breweries or mini-wineries who also engage in retail operations are required to contact TTB.

    State and local alcohol control boards and governments need to be informed with regard to the operation of alcohol beverage businesses or those dealing with alcohol products like nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and retail stores as additional permits and licenses may be needed.

  • Aviation

    The following are useful links to Federal Aviation Authority sites with regards to licensing information for pilots and air mechanics, planes, airlines, and related services:

  • Ammunition, Explosives, and Firearms

    The Gun Control Act defines licensing for producers, dealers and importers of firearms, ammunition, and explosives. The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) oversees the implementation of the law, including the issuance of licenses and permits.

    Licenses to bear arms are procured from state and/or local governments.

    The subsequent links lead to more information with regard to gun and explosive licensing and permit matters.

    1. Safe Explosives Act

      Information and guidance on permits and licensing for explosives. Businesses dealing with explosives are required to report and pay excise taxes with the ATF so that their products are marked and sold according to law.

    2. Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET)

      This link contains detailed explanation for excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition according to Chapter 32 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code (26 U.S.C. 4181). It applies to manufacturers, importers, or dealers.

    3. 50 Gun Exemption to the Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET)

      An amendment to FAET, this exempts excise tax on firearms which are produced or imported by someone with less than 50 of the articles in a year.

  • Wildlife and Fish

    The main agency tasked in the regulation of trade of wildlife and fishes or their derivatives is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Thus, businesses dealing with these animals and fishes need to obtain permits from this agency.

    The following are relevant links to government offices detailing licensing requirements, steps towards obtaining permits, regulations, and other matters pertaining to the import, export or transport of fishes and wildlife products.

    1. Fish and Wildlife Permits

      This is the main portal to federal permits on fish and wildlife.

    2. Fish and Wildlife Import-Export Permit Issuing Offices

      This link leads to regional permit offices for export or import needs.

  • Commercial Fisheries and Marine Mammals

    In the case of commercial fisheries and marine mammals, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is in charge with the issuance of permits. The following are relevant NOAA links.

    1. NOAA Fisheries Forms Portal

      NOAA Fisheries forms listed by geographical location according to NOAA form name and OMB (Office of Management and Budget) number

    2. National Marine Fisheries Service Permit Shop

      Permits and records for Atlantic tuna and bluefin tuna.

    3. Authorizations and Permits for Protected Species (APPS)

      Permits and authorizations for activities that may endanger protected species, by virtue of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).

    4. Authorizations and Permits for Protected Species (APPS)

      For activities directed at protected species.

    5. Groundfish Federal Fisheries Permits

      Northwest Region permits and authorizations for fishery activities that affect ground fish on the west coast.

    6. High Seas Fishing Permits

      Contains permit forms and information with regard to fishing in the high seas under the High Seas Act.

    7. Antarctic Marine Living Resource Trade Permits

      Contains information on Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS) permits.

  • Seafaring

  • Drilling and Mining

    Business dealing with the extraction of oil, natural gas, and other minerals is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service Bureau (MMS). Drilling permits can be acquired from this bureau.

  • Nuclear Energy

    Licensing of commercial nuclear reactors and fuel cycle facilities, disposal of nuclear waste, and distribution of nuclear materials is under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The links below offer necessary information on licensing and nuclear material regulation.

  • Radio and Television

    Broadcasting via radio, television, wire and cable requires licensing from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Internet is not, at present, regulated by the FCC. The succeeding links offer information on acquiring broadcasting rights , renewal, and other pertinent matters.

  • Transportation and Logistics

    The link below specify the maximum weights allowed by law.

Towards Protecting Your License

You need to keep your business legal at all times. The following are important reminders for this.

  • You need to keep a calendar detailing renewal of licenses, permits or registration;
  • Copies of government licensing papers and related documents should be safely kept for easy retrieval when required;
  • Rules on the display of licenses or permits need to be strictly adhered to. These should be visible to customers.