Having a criminal background will impact almost every single facet of your life, and that includes your ability to own and operate a licensed business. Depending on many different variables such as the severity of your crimes and where you live, getting a business license could be a complicated process. If you have a criminal background, then here are a few things you should know about business license laws.

State Laws and Regulations

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, almost every state requires companies to have some type of license or permit. These licenses are typically state-specific, and you will need multiple permits to operate a business across state lines. In order to learn more about your local laws and regulations, you must contact either the U.S. Small Business Administration or your state’s licensing agency. Once of those organizations will be able to provide you with more information on criminal background restrictions.

Your Criminal Record

When you are applying for a business license, one of the first factors that the agency will look at is the type of crime you committed. Having multiple felonies on your record might prohibit you from owning any type of company, but a single misdemeanor from years ago will most likely not have an impact on your application. Those who have committed violent or financial crimes will be under quite a bit of scrutiny.

Types of Businesses

The type of business you are considering opening will be another factor that the agency takes into consideration. Certain industries have their own unique regulations, and some of those bylaws are extremely strict. One example of this would be the gaming industry. Those who are trying to open a casino will most likely be denied a license if they have any felonies at all. If you have a criminal background and would like to start a business in a regulated industry, then you will need to have your record expunged.

Contacting an Attorney

Having your record expunged isn’t a process that you should try to tackle on your own. Judges take these matters very seriously, and you must follow specific steps to have your arrest and conviction records sealed. That is why many people work with attorneys who have experience with these unique legal proceedings. Your legal representative can help you decide which type of expungement you should file for and how to present your case before the judge.

Just because you have a criminal record doesn’t mean that your business license application will automatically be denied. That being said, you must spend some extra time researching local laws so that you understand all of your rights and responsibilities. Even if your business license is approved, you still need to consider having your record expunged in order to qualify for certain business loans and keep your insurance premiums to a minimum.