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“Do I Need A Business License?”

One of the most frequent questions our office receives regarding starting a business in Colorado is, “Do I need a business license?” Unlike some places, the State of Colorado does not have a general “business license.” However, that doesn’t necessarily mean your business won’t need a license of some kind. The State of Colorado regulates some, but not all, professions, occupations, and industries. The agency that does this is called the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Their website has a searchable list of professions and industries regulated by the State of Colorado.

After checking with DORA, there are a few more places to check online: DORA’s list of “Other Licenses & Regulatory Resources” and The Occupational License Database. It’s also a good idea to check with your local city and county to see if there are any local licenses, permits, or tax requirements they might have! When in doubt, always ask when it comes to questions about licensing or permits. If you have any questions contact DORA.

Finally, with all of this talk about licensing, do not confuse a general “business license” with a Sales Tax License. In Colorado, if you are selling tangible goods, you are required to collect State Sales Tax and will need a Sales Tax License. You can apply for a Sales Tax License via the Colorado Department of Revenue.

National SBDC Day: Your Success is Our Success

On Thursday, March 19th from 9:00 am to 11:30 am the Colorado Small Business Development Center will be hosting an event at the State Capitol in celebration of National SBDC Day. This event recognizes the SBDC’s positive impact on our communities. The success of the Colorado SBDC is the success of Colorado. According to the Small Business Administration, 47.5% of employed people in the U.S. work for a small business. Helping small businesses take root and grow in Colorado is our mission, one that touches the lives of every Coloradan. 

So join us on March 19th to celebrate our success. There will be local vendors showing off a variety of Colorado-based products as well as free food and beverages.

For more information and to get a free ticket to our event, visit the Colorado SBDC Day event page. And if you own a small business, or are thinking about going into business, take a moment to see what the SBDC can provide you on your small business journey.

Free Cybersecurity Webinars

Last week’s blog asked the question “Does Your Business Offer Free Wifi?” Based on the feedback that we received (it turns out a lot of you want to offer wifi to your customers) we thought it would be a good idea to share with you a series of free webinars dedicated to cybersecurity and small businesses. Presented by Dr. Shawn Murray, Founder & CAO of Murray Security Services, these videos cover a variety of topics ranging from Cybersecurity for Basic Computing, The Accidental Insider Threat, How to Find a Good Cybersecurity Company and many more. Each video is about an hour in length and can be viewed for free on-demand.

These videos are part of the SBDC Tech Source Cyber: CYA (Cover Your Assets) program through the Pikes Peak SBDC. For more information on Cyber: CYA. For additional information on Cybersecurity, please visit the Cybersecurity page on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

Does Your Business Offer Free WiFi?


We’ve all been there before: trapped in a waiting room with no bars on our phone. Or stuck on a plane with an out-of-service wifi router staring endlessly at the back of the headrest in front of us. An article on INCORP mentions a survey conducted by Comcast that “showed free Wifi is now one of the best amenities a small ‘Main Street’ business can offer its customers.” Obviously, Comcast has some skin in the game when it comes to buying Wifi for your business, but the fact remains that having free access to the internet tends to keep customers patiently waiting and in your business longer. And as we all know, staying longer can help encourage customers to spend more.

There are downsides to offering free customer Wifi and not every business would benefit from encouraging patrons to stick around all day (which invariably happens at your local Starbucks). If you do decide that free customer Wifi is right for your business the experts recommend setting up “super-secure” Wifi access for your customers and to create a separate network for your employees to protect your business data.

The Pikes Peak SBDC has a program called Cyber: CYA (Cover Your Assets) that can help you protect you and your business against cyber threats and make you feel a little easier should you decide to offer free wifi to your customers. You can even go on their website and request a business risk assessment.

Is 2020 the Year You Go Into Business?

Was your New Year’s Resolution to start your own business? January has come and gone and February is drawing to an end, too. Have you started your business yet? Statistically it’s likely that you haven’t, but why? Research has shown that Resolutions fail not because we’re all quitters but because of the way we design our resolutions. We make broad goals that feel too large and end up quitting.

So what should we do? Rather than tackle a large goal, like say “start a business,” make a smaller, more specific goal. If you’re in the 80% of Americans who have already abandoned your New Year’s Resolution don’t give up just focus on that first step. A good first step on the path to starting your own business is coming up with a business plan.

Don’t know anything about business plans? Don’t worry there are many good resources available for people who need help crafting their business plan. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a helpful tutorial on writing a business plan on their website. The Denver Public Library allows all cardholders access to their Business Plans Handbook, which consists of a collection of business plans that will provide you with an example on how to write yours.

You can also participate in the SBDC’s many low-cost classes designed to help business owners in all stages of starting and running a business. Several of these classes focus specifically on getting started! You can find a list of all “getting started” classes on the Colorado SBDC website.

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