If you have been drawing a big fat zero when using the internet to track down the business license requirements for your “to be born” mobile car wash, rest assure, you are not alone. Legalities aside, despite the angst, the effort is well worth it when you are able to tell your customers you have a license.
Before we figure out the licenses and business permit aspects, first you must be aware that whatever business you wish to operate – i.e. large or small, on-site or mobile – you have to decide on the legal structure of your operations. The options available are that of sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, and LLC. If you are a sole proprietor starting out on a small scale, DBA (Doing Business As) maybe a good option as it enables you to set up your business at a minimal cost.
The Best Places To Enquire About Business Licenses
Regardless of which state, city or county you plan to conduct your business, you are well advised to check their guidelines for starting a mobile car wash business. In some communities, it’s a must that all businesses have business licenses but in others, it might only apply to a select few. Your local city or town hall, city or county administration offices are the best places to ask. Most will have a website presence, if not; look into your local telephone directory for their contact details.
Alternatively, you can go to the US Small Business Administration website, once you are there search for “Licenses and permits”. On this page, you will be asked to enter your city, state or zip code and the Business Type. In the Business Type dropdown list, you will not find anything related to car wash or mobile car wash, so just select “General Licensing”. It should then lead you to where you can find the Business License requirements specific to your area.
The State Permits Needed
While licenses may or may not be required, permits such as for the discharge of wastewater, are likely to be required as they are in place to regulate public health and safety. Typically, they are under the jurisdiction of a government agency who issues them condition upon their inspections. Even if you use biodegradable soaps and detergents, they are defined under industrial wastewater and as such, must be managed properly. Failing to comply will often result in harsh consequences and very costly fines.
The related permits usually come under the jurisdiction of departments such as your state and local offices of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety & Hazard Administration (OSHA) and Water Department. The best way to go about this would be to ask about the local wastewater discharge requirements at the same time that you are enquiring about your city or county business licenses.
These legalities do take time and effort to sort out but once they are done, you will be steps closer to opening up for business.
For more advice and tips on how to enhance your mobile car wash for success, head on to our website. We have been in the business for over ten years and take great pride in what we do and how we do it.
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