Ever since I decided to purchase my latte stand, I have tried my hardest to do everything by the books and have spent hours trying to figure out permits and fees and licenses. There was a master business application online that has both a federal and local check list of all the things I had to accomplish. With the help of my friends and a big ol' notebook, I knocked through the whole thing.
I learned how to do my own payroll and I learned all about the quarterly and monthly and payroll and excise taxes... I spent countless hours trying not to miss anything.
I received a phone call from a very unpleasant woman that told me I didn't have an occupancy permit, not only that but the previous 2 owners also did not have an occupancy permit. I was told to go to Port Orchard and talk to a man at the development building. Ok, sure. I go there and pick up the paperwork. I bring it home, fill it out and mail in the $59.50. I get another phone call from the mean woman asking me when I plan on picking up the permit. I said I didn't know I needed to. But ok, I will pick it up this week.
I went to pick it up today and was told I needed to also pay a $55 penalty, the cashier couldn't give m answers so I paid and decided to take it up with the mean woman. The mean woman called this afternoon to schedule the inspection. I asked her about the penalty. She told me that because they had to tell me I needed permit in the first place, I had to pay the fine.
My question to her was how I was supposed to know I needed this permit? Where it was listed? Where was the notice? How was I supposed to figure it out? Her only response was that it was my responsibility as a business owner. I asked if I was supposed to call every single government agency and ask if they want my money and she said "if that's what it would take".
My frustration level shot through the roof. I tried to remain calm and I gave her my feedback and how ridiculously unfair it was, she just responded with "not to be smart, but what would you do since you have it figured out?" wow.
Being a first time business owner, I feel so much more for all the businesses that I see go under. It's rough. Everyone wants a piece of you. Everyone wants what little money you make. The amount of taxes put on a small business is outstanding. Almost half of all the income my business brings in, goes to taxes. I sell latte's for goodness sake. Then after that, I am bombarded by local governemental agencies that are mean, cruel and have no sympathy for the struggling business.
I never thought in a million years the hardest part about owning a business would be taxes, licenses and permits. Shouldn't be that way. Not in America.