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Is posting of the business license or permit to operate my business required?

UPDATED: February 20, 2013

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In virtually all localities, a business license must be posted for public display. Posting is also required of other locally-issued permits pertaining to premise use, alterations, maximum occupancy, emergency exits, sanitation clearance, and permits issued by law enforcement agencies. State-issued occupational licenses, the traditional professional licenses, are also generally posted.

An inspection license, or certificate of inspection, certifies that your business meets the city’s particular codes. A business may have four or five different inspection licenses, including fire, water, electrical and sanitation codes. Each inspection license is issued by a different agency, and each must usually be posted.

As a general rule, it is always good business practice to post any professional licenses for public viewing. Examples of professions that require licenses include building and construction, law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary, education and accounting. Posting your license for the public assures your clients that you are legitamately licensed. Transportation licenses must always be posted for public viewing. So if you are a taxi or bus driver, keep you licenses where the public can see them.

Other useful information for customers includes awards, recalls and site maps. If you are in a line of work that requires posting a bond, consider posting the bond certificate. This lets customers know that you are fully covered should any liability arise from their business with you. If you recognize employees through an employee award program, consider posting their picture and award for customers to see. It will add to the accomplishment of the employee as well as showing customers that you care about your employees.

In general, anything that contains the personal information of your employees should not be posted for public review. Documents such as tax forms, food handler’s cards or pay stubs should never be placed in an area for public review.

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