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Business Law FAQ's Starting a Business
I. Overview IV. Organizing Your Business
II. Financing and the Business Plan V. Hiring Employees
III. Permits, Licenses, and Other Legal Concerns VI. Business Insurance
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Permits, Licenses, and Other Legal Concerns

As a new business owner, you will face a number of legal issues, including licenses and permits, zoning, name and trademark registration, and others. You should consult an attorney with experience in business planning and these areas in order to protect your legal rights.

When naming your business, you should first see whether the name is legally available. Your state’s secretary of state can inform you whether the name you’ve chosen for your business is taken. Often, this information is readily available from the secretary of state’s website. In Iowa go to www.sos.state.ia.us, and for Illinois www.cyberdriveillinois.com. You should also determine if your name conflicts with a registered trademark, by visiting the federal Patent and Trademark Office’s website at www.uspto.gov.

You may require a license or permit to operate your business, depending on what your business is and where your business is located. You should carefully research all regulations and laws governing your business; your state and local governments (and your local Chamber of Commerce) can help you find the requirements you need to fulfill.

In most cases, you need a state license to work as a:

  • Dentist
  • Physician
  • Lawyer
  • Teacher
  • Accountant
  • Contractor/trade worker
  • Barber

Often, city or county governments regulate business activity by requiring permits, including:

  • Noise permits
  • Equipment permits
  • Construction permits
  • Public gathering permits
  • Sellers’ permits

You may be required to pay ongoing fees, update fees, or to complete regular testing for some business activities. Many jurisdictions require businesses to publicly post their licenses and permits.

Many city and county governments also enforce zoning regulations. Government zoning classifies land into different zones, with separate rules regarding land use, the size and height of allowed structures, and many other aspects of ownership. Zoning is part of a state’s “police power”, which allows states and local governments to regulate land use for the benefit of the public. It is a good idea to understand zoning restrictions in your area before purchasing land or starting up a business.

Given the amount of legal preparation involved in starting a business, and the consequences of failing to do so, you should contact a lawyer for help with business planning and land use matters.

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If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa business law attorney, representing clients in Iowa City, Iowa at the Teitle Law Offices. Give us a call at (563) 345-4100 or email us at info@teitlelaw.com.
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       For Sale By Owner

  2550 Middle Road,
Suite 604
  Bettendorf, IA 52722
  Phone: (563) 345-4100
  Fax: (563) 345-4111
   

Iowa City, Iowa Attorneys offering a broad estate planning / probate, criminal law, family law, guardianships and adoption, juvenile law, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, real estate, for sale by owner, trucking accidents, and wrongful death. Lawyers at the Teitle Law Offices office are dedicated to represent clients in Eastern and Central Iowa, including the cities of Davenport, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Muscatine, Clinton, Maquoketa, Tipton, Dubuque, Ottumwa, Wapello, Burlington, Waterloo and the communities that make up Scott, Johnson, Linn, Mucatine, Clinton, Jackson, Cedar, Dubuque, Wapello, Louisa, Des Moines and Blackhawk counties. We also represent clients in Central Illinois, including the cities of Rock Island, Aledo, Cambridge and Morrison and the communities that make up Rock Island, Mercer, Henry and Whiteside counties.

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