If you’ve read any of my articles, you know I have a talent for starting on one topic and ending up on another. In this article, I’m not trying to discourage you from getting a small business license… but let’s just say the process of obtaining one can be as painful as getting a root canal.
As a former computer repair business owner, I can attest to the joys and challenges of running my own small business. I used to fix computers on the side, back in the days when desktops were bigger than some people’s refrigerators. But hey, it was a fun and rewarding job, and I built a reputation as the go-to guy for PC builds in Las Vegas.
As they say, if you can build a desktop PC in Las Vegas, you can build one anywhere.
But here’s the thing: I never had a proper license for my business. Looking back, I realize I was skating on thin ice… or rather, I was dodging bullets like Neo in The Matrix. Sure, I knew I needed a license, but the process of getting one was like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube while blindfolded.
Step 1: Find the right government office.
This might seem easy, but it’s not. You’ll need to do some serious detective work to track down the right office. And even if you do manage to find it, there’s a good chance it’ll be closed for lunch, or for a “staff meeting,” or just because. Don’t bother calling ahead either, because no one will answer the phone.
Step 2: Fill out the paperwork.
Once you’ve managed to find the office, you’ll be given a stack – and I do mean a STACK – of paperwork that’s thicker than a dictionary. You’ll more than likely need to fill out every single page in triplicate and make sure you use blue ink. Oh, and if you make a mistake, you’ll need to start all over again.
Step 3: Get your fingerprints taken.
Yes, you read that right. You’ll need to get your fingerprints taken. And not just any fingerprints. They need to be official government fingerprints, which means you’ll need to go to a special office and pay a ridiculous fee. And don’t even think about using hand lotion beforehand, because that can mess up the prints.
Step 4: Take a test.
And yeah, you’ll need to take a test to prove that you’re qualified to run a small business. The test is multiple-choice, but the questions are designed to make your brain hurt like a migraine. It’s a shame the test doesn’t come with some aspirin. Also, the questions will be like, “What is the maximum weight of a ferret that can be legally kept in a small business establishment?” or “In what year did the Pony Express cease operation?” If you fail the test, you’ll need to wait six months before you can take it again. The Pony Express will deliver you a confirmation when you’re ready to take the test again.
Step 5: Wait.
Once you’ve completed all the steps, you’ll need to wait. And wait. And wait some more. It can take up to six months for your small business license to be approved. In the meantime, you’ll need to sit on your hands and twiddle your thumbs while waiting for the Pony Express to arrive.
In conclusion, acquiring a small business license is a wacky, convoluted mess! that’s sure to make you pull your hair out. Humorously, what I’m really trying to point out in this article is that the system needs to be made better and easier for a person to open any type of business and get proper licensing. If the system wants the owners of most establishments to be properly licensed, then the system needs to be made easier for owners to acquire that license.
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