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business licenses....

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by petesign, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. petesign

    petesign Very Active Member

    Feb 27, 2010
    Hoover AL
    It's almost the end of the year, so you know what that means... renewal of business licenses for every town we put up signs in. Every year i get mad.. it's an absolute crock that I need a license in every town i go through, since our "city" is nothing but a bunch of suburbs at every street corner. Here's the newest wrinkle.... Birmingham wants to charge a flat rate for annual gross revenue. Total... not just what I did in their crappy town. TOTAL... how is it fair for a municipality to charge me taxes for a license on goods I didn't sell or deliver to in their city limits?

    I'm telling you, the way laws are written now, sign companies get the SHAFT. I wish we had a strong lobby organization to help out with this kind of government abuse. Absolutely ridiculous.
  2. thesignguy1986

    thesignguy1986 Member

    Oct 23, 2006
    76 E. Market
    Were in a small town but when I was open in Toledo Ohio it was a crock that we would have to go through a written test to get a sign license and anyone who did banners, window lettering ect did also but the box shops like Office Max, Staples and so on did not have to . Even if we did not install you had to have a license even though the others didn't. I agree its a crock but its kinda expected as far as im concerned. But yes gotta love the little thing these town do to get there money
  3. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    You got to be at these meetings when laws are changed ..& SPEAK UP

    Yes in this town they pick & choose which business to hassle
  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    is it everywhere in the states that operates like this? I've never heard of this before, i have a business license from our province (equivalent to your states) but there is noting extra needed is I do business in another town, if I do business in another provence i only have to collect the tax due according to that provence.

    Very strange system you have down there...
  5. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Really? Here in BC most municipalities require you to get one of their business licenses if you plan to serve their area (i.e. installs). In the lower mainland that means if you're a small business in Vancouver and you plan to serve anywhere in a 1 hour radius, you'll need a business license for Vancouver, Surrey, West Vancouver, Richmond, North Vancouver District, City of North Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and the list goes on...
  6. GVP

    GVP Active Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Swift Current, SK
    Same here in Sask - business licenses are municipal, not provincial.
  7. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    OP I feel your pain. If we and other small businesses get licenses this way so should docs and lawyers and so on. Its BS! I install in a few neighboring town and I absolutely refuse to get a license for doing piddly work in these tows, its nothing but greed!

    up where you are you woukd go broke getting licenses for every damn municipality around bham
  8. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Pacific NW
    You will be surprised to find out that some local sign shops help write those very laws to keep the competition at a minimum.
  9. Mattshel

    Mattshel New Member

    Dec 3, 2013
    That doesn't surprise me one bit, That is exactly what happens in some parts of the construction industry.
  10. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

    Jul 23, 2007
    The PRC
    Don't even think about stopping a commercial vehicle in San Marino, CA without a sticker from them. Instant ticket.
  11. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    That can't be legal. Are they charging McDonalds based on $27 billion in annual sales?
  12. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    OP you need to ask them when some of that money is gonna fix those damn roads in BHAM my God! Good point Pat that is another good suggestion. Whats good for one is not good for the other. Learn saturday install work and good luck
  13. boxerbay

    boxerbay Active Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    Darkside of the Moon
    you need a license? :)
  14. petesign

    petesign Very Active Member

    Feb 27, 2010
    Hoover AL
    we have been doing some channel letter installs... I am trying to stop doing them... by the time you get a permit, get an electrician and jump through all the hoops you need to jump through to get the sign made, then spend half to a full day doing the install its not worth the money you have left.. then there's some shop down the street who can either make their own sign, or who is willing to undercut you so much that it's just a waste of time.

    cities are permit nazi's around here. its ridiculous.
  15. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2006
    Vaughan, Ontario
    What license do you have? an HST number?

    I have never been approached for a business license from my municipality..... Might be best to keep my mouth shut:Big Laugh
  16. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    absolutely! And since the economy sucks they are out in droves. This is nothing more than a scam to bring in more money. WHY does one have to get a permit to slap a 4x8 onto a brick wall or a 3x5 signage in the ground in front of an exisiting business where another sign was. The last time we did a channel letter install the inspector added 2 extra weeks of pure hell to us installing for a restaurant chain. He actually made the contractors install flooring inside the bulkhead with lighting where the sign was being installed. The building this was in was over 25 years old.

    I think it's an ego stroker myself
  17. Happyprinter

    Happyprinter Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    I to agree the current system for obtaining business licenses is ridiculous! But as Craig said, You have to show up at the Council Meetings and voice your opinion. I have served on our Town Council for many years and am over Planning and Zoning. I can tell you from experience, when a new ordinance is proposed or fees are to be changed, no one shows up to voice their concerns. You advertise it as required by law, send letters to residence, but still no one shows up. They don't care until it directly effects them and then look out! They are MAD! Granted, if you have to get a business license in 20 different cities it is hard to show up to 20 different council meetings. In your spare time,:ROFLMAO:, call the Planning and Zoning for the cities that you are required to obtain a permit in and tell them your concerns. Most of the time they are people that have no business experience and don't have a clue what type of a hardship they are placing on small business. Contact a Council Member and voice your opinion. You'd be surprised what one person can do to change the laws. And of course on the other hand, a lot of our elected people are simply"brain dead" and don't give a rat's #@%$ about anything but hey, at least you tried.

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