Christian | Standing Stones Healing Co.
I'm in the startup process and planning on offering distance Reiki from home but would also like the possibility of doing in-person sessions by renting or working out of a shared space (hotel spa, beauty salon, vet's office, yoga studio, etc) and also going to client's homes. I live in the county of Los Angeles, so it seems like depending on where you conduct business, you need a business license from the city you're doing business in. Are multiple business licenses needed if your home operation is City A, but you rent a space in city B, and see clients in cities C, D, E?
This is a great question. Thanks for this question. Each area is different...whether state, county, or city. So I encourage you to check the laws/ordinances of each. And yes, you may need multiple licenses depending upon the areas where you're doing business and the kind of business you're doing (selling alcohol, providing financial advice, etc.). For instance, LA might require a license to do business in town, but not if it's online from your home. This would be separate from California's requirements.
On the state level, things get a little unclear at times with the wording because what some might call a "business license" is usually what they mean to be "business formation," which is creating a business entity (DBA, LLC). This is different from a license like a tax license or health and safety permit or etc. It's also not required to do business. My DBA, LLC, OMG article explains business formation and the difference between the types. I encourage you to read it.
If you're seeing people in their homes in multiple cities, it's again going to depend upon the area (check the county ordinances as well as the city), but you most likely will not need a business license for each town in which you see clients, since you don't have a physical location and are only providing a very short-term service of an hour or two.
Again, please make sure to check with your area and don't take my word for it! One thing that can complicate this is that some cities have different tax structures. For instance, where I am in PA, Philadelphia has its own additional taxes to consider. So you may want to look into that, as well. And finally, if you're renting out a space in an established location, such as a spa, they've usually taken care of local licensing requirements because those are most typically attached to physical locations. But this is also good to double-check.
The short answer is: it's always best to check the regulations of everywhere you're planning to do business in order to make sure you're complying with all local laws. And the answers to your specific questions: Depending on where you conduct business, do you need a business license from the city you're doing business in....Yes, depending upon the city's requirements and the kind of business you're operating. Are multiple business licenses needed if your home operation is City A, but you rent a space in city B, and see clients in cities C, D, E?....Probably not, but maybe, so definitely check.