Business Licenses Q&A: How Do I Get Caught

Question: How do licensing authorities find out when companies are out of compliance?

David Singer's Response: In the dark ages (of the past decade) authorities were able to find businesses that were out of compliance because all businesses were operated out of physical locations, typically in commercial spaces. The authorities were able to track and regulate businesses based on their advertisements outside their storefronts and in newspapers. In the modern era where more businesses are operating online, authorities are using a similar tactic with a twist. Since the government authorities can no longer properly trace products and services back to physical locations, they are using the advertising and marketing campaigns that businesses have created in order to find and regulate businesses operating within their jurisdictions. For example, if you will offer construction services in CA and advertise as such, you can expect a call or letter from the CA Contractor’s Board regarding the lack of a contractor’s license, followed by a fine. The bottom line is the same as it was in the past. If your customers can find you, then so can the government.