In most municipalities in BC you have to have a business licence in order to offer a product or service. In fact, up until just a couple of years ago, a business had to have a separate licence for every city in the Lower Mainland if it wanted to work there. Businesses can now apply for a blanket license for six participating municipalities in the region including the City of Burnaby, Corporation of Delta, City of New Westminster, City of Richmond, City of Surrey, and City of Vancouver. It just makes it easier and more affordable to do business in these areas. But what are the other benefits to having a business license?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have your own name attached to a billion dollar company? Imagine the swagger!! In reality, having a separate company name and registered as such protects you from personal liability should your company be involved in an accident where people are injured or killed. Depending on your licencing it would likely protect your personal assets from being attacked in a lawsuit against the company. Conversely, the company is protected if you are sued in a personal matter that has nothing to do with your business. Operating under your own name could also expose personal information to the public. Separating your business from your name will help you keep a modicum of privacy.
Taxes taxes taxes…
A licensed business is separate from your personal taxes and as such business taxes are filed separately. The opportunity exists to be able to deduct certain things for your business that you would not be able to through your personal tax return. That business lunch? Write it off. Also, your business may have a losing year, whereas you may not in terms of pay. Being separate makes it easier to report income and any loses or gains therein.
Attraction and Networking
Licensing your business shows potential clients that you, for lack of a better term, mean business. It shows you are invested in your company and are serious enough to take that step. It also offers that sense of stability for consumers. There are many associations where networking can be of benefit to building professional relationships, however many require your business to be licensed. BBB is one of them. You can’t be accredited unless your business is licensed. As I mentioned earlier, licensing means you can legally work in the area you set up shop and more often than not, is a legal requirement. Networking is all for naught is a client finds out you are not licensed.