I spent part of yesterday getting my business license. Well, I say getting my business license; mostly it was running all over the Douglas County Georgia courthouse.
Being (IMHO) a pretty smart, proactive person, I did research about what was necessary to get a business license. I went to my state's small business online center, found the state requirements for a business license, and then went to my county's government website. There, I found the necessary forms and information I'd need along with the cost of the license.
Additionally, I CALLED them to ask about id requirements, if they accepted checks, cash, credit cards, etc. I also asked about the best time of day to go in.
So, after this, I felt pretty confident that I’d be able to go the court house, get my license and then get some other chores done. BOY WAS I WRONG!
I went to the courthouse about 12:30 – per the recommendation of the gal at the business license division – and found that – HA! I needed to register my business with the county clerk’s office before I could apply for a business license. So I go zipping off to another floor and the other side of the court house to the county clerk’s office.
“Have you searched our registry of business names to be sure that your business name isn’t taken?” asked the clerk.
“Per the Georgia Small business center, I searched their archives. Is there another?” I said.
“Oh no, you have to check the COUNTY archives too.”
So off I go to yet ANOTHER floor and back to the other side of the building. Once at the County archives, I encounter a very kind woman who informs me that there are several people waiting to see the registry. So I waited in the waiting room of the archives for about 45 minutes. When it was my turn, I was able to confirm that no, there’s no one else in DOUGLAS county with the name of Hyppychick.com and I zipped back to the county clerk’s office.
$27 later I’m headed back to Developmental Services with my document stating that I’ve registered my business name. Oh!! And I’ve got to stop by the local paper at some point to get a classified legal ad posted for two weeks with my name registration for $40!
Back at the Developmental services department, I frantically dig thru my purse searching for a utility bill with my address because you need proof of residence - something not mentioned by anyone or on the website! Thank goodness, I had my trash collector's bill in my purse!
Yes, I have the forms completed that were on the website, but there’s NEW forms that haven’t been updated on the website and no, the old ones just won’t do.
So, I sit and complete new forms. Finally, I’m done and ready to move forward. But now, the license team is out to lunch!
Luckily, I only had to wait for about 15 minutes. Then I was able to sit down with THE business license department manager and let her know – in a very nice way – that I could have saved a lot of time if the requirements listed on the website were accurate. She was shocked that I had been mislead and said she’d get the site updated ASAP.
However, on the upside, she’s very interested in my business and when I share my business philosophy; she’s eager to see my website and asks if I have a card!
On the way home, I stopped by the local newspaper to get my name registration posted where I encounter yet another potential customer!
So even though the day was basically like herding cats, it may be valuable in more ways than one.