It’s not a secret that “no news is good news” with your business licensing activity, right? While the ultimate goal of your licensing team is to be compliant, the unspoken goal may simply be not to raise any attention within the company. The unfortunate side to this unspoken goal is that it always creates more problems than it solves. And it turns dormant business license compliance issues into expensive business license remediation projects later.
Think about it this way – if you never get a medical check-up, you don’t have to get nagged by your spouse about how you’re not keeping up with your health rigorously. You don’t have knowledge of a problem, your spouse doesn’t have an issue to press you on, and life just keeps rolling along. Ignorance is bliss. Unless there is a problem. Then it becomes a bigger problem which is much more difficult to treat. Maybe you do avoid the nagging for a longer period of time, but the outcome is much more serious, and can even be fatal.
OK…maybe that’s a bit over the top as an analogy, but directionally it’s correct in your tax and licensing departments. So often the people handling the tax returns and business licenses feel like they have too much risk associated with really digging into the company’s level of compliance, and are coached into waiting for the symptoms to show up. The shame is that it’s a disservice to the company and ultimately a blemish for the employees.
Companies who hire an outside partner to ensure compliance relieve all of the issues much more gracefully. If it’s your job to ensure compliance, why not be proactive about it? Get the check-up every now and again, and start treating the issues before the symptoms get out of control. Here’s a good example – let’s say you’re a progressive company with lots of locations and a wildly creative product development team. You’re releasing a unique set of products and features every quarter. And the public is crazy about them. You’ve got market acceptance…and growth…and shareholder value. But you also have risk if you haven’t kept up with the business licensing requirements. Some new products/services may require a licensing change. Any new location may have unique licensing requirements that you haven’t faced before. Your new product or location may trigger a gross receipts tax that you’re not aware of. The symptoms are lining up and you don’t even know it.
I have a vested interest, because Business Licenses, LLC helps diagnose and treat these issues for large companies. The reason we have a business is because it’s so much easier to rely on a partner who has been there before. It’s like going to a doctor who understands your family history. Both of us know what to look for. And you get the benefit of a partner who can quietly solve the problems before they become front page news. So why not hire a partner who can check into your licensing “wellness” and then give you a prescription for a quick recovery? You’ll know the issues sooner, and you’ll have them solved before they become toxic and expensive. And you’ll avoid all the nagging associated with doing it yourself!
About The Author
Doug Starr has served as Business Licenses, LLC’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing since joining the firm in 2011. Doug has more than 18 years of senior management experience in start-ups, with the last 11 years focused on sales tax and business licensing solutions. He has specialized in general management, sales, marketing, & streamlining operations for service businesses. Prior to joining Business Licenses, LLC, Doug was the Managing Partner for TaxConnex, a sales and use tax compliance start up, helping to grow them into the premier provider of sales tax compliance services for the SMB market. Doug also served as Director of Sales and Marketing for the indirect tax arm of Thomson Reuters’ Corporate Software and Services Division.
Doug is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton, and is a graduate of numerous executive, sales and marketing advanced education programs from Darden School of Business, McCombs School of Business, and the Mihaylo College of Business. He is also involved in a variety of community service initiatives, including Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America, High Tech Ambassadors, Radical Mentoring, and The Best Imaginable College Experience.