Step Number Two in the How to Start a Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Series is: Get a Business License / Fictitious Business Name Statement for your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business
Before you get your business license you’ll have to decide if you want to be a sole proprietor, an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) or a Corporation. Check with your accountant to find out what is best for you. With the help of your accountant you’ll decid what category of business you’d like to create. Once you decide you are then ready to get a business license.
In some cities you may have to get a county business license and a city business license if you are providing pet sitting for different cities within your county while also working from your home office. Call your local City Hall to find out how and where to get your business license.
If you are named Jerry and your business is called Jerry’s Pet Sitting Service you will not need to get a fictitious business license.
If your name is Amanda and you want to call your business Jerry’s Pet Sitting (I’ve seen it happen!) or if you want to call yourself “ Bakerville Pet Sitting and Dog Walking” then you will need to get a ficticious business name. Why? Because your personal name is not part of your business title. City and state laws require that all businesses that don’t have the owner’s name in them get a special license so the city and state can determine exactly who the owner is.
A business license generally costs anywhere from $40-100 for new businesses. You will be required to renew your business license every year and some cities will base your renewal amount on a percentage of your gross earnings.
A fictitious business name statement generally costs anywhere from $30-60 and you will also need to pay to have your name appear in a local newspaper for 4 weeks. You will need to remember to renew your fictitious business name statement every 5 years.