Information for Registering a Business

Registration Information

Before you start operating your small business, check to find if there are any licenses and permits that you need to have in place before starting.

Business name

Choosing a business name is as important a task, as it can be fun. You will have to visit the registrar to register your business name. Check to ensure that you have not chosen a name or mark that is exactly like or quite similar to another.

When choosing a name or symbol think about marketability and the image you want to portray to potential customers.

Trademark Registration

A trademark is a word, combination of words, symbol or design that identifies a product as distinct from others. You might also want to prevent other people from using your trademark, in that case do a trademark registration, this could prove crucial in the future.


A copyright is a legal right that will protect any work by an author, publisher, composer, playwright and such individuals. It gives exclusive right to ownership, publication, sale and distribution of the work.


A patent protects an invention, medical preparation, software, gadgets, and tools to name a few. You should register a patent in order to protect it.

Check with local authorities about registration and registration periods. When you register your patent:

  • You can use it as you choose; you have exclusive rights
  • You can allow others to use it by granting them a license
  • You can prevent others from exploiting your invention

National Insurance Registration

Register for an employer’s national insurance number if you intend to take on employees.

Inland Revenue Registration

Register with the Inland Revenue for tax purposes.

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VAT (Value Added Tax) Registration

Register with the VAT department if you collect VAT.

Medical License

If you will be running a medical practice, you will need this licence.

Travel agency registration

If you plan to start a travel agency business you will need to get registered.

Vendor license

This authorizes your business to make taxable and collect taxable sales.

Customs registration

For necessary taxes and duty concessions.

Health certification

This is necessary for child care, food, caring for the elderly and bars.

Liquor license

If you intend to sell alcohol.

United States of America (USA)

To operate your business in the United States you might need certain Federal and State licenses. Please check the links below to find the licenses you might need before you begin trading.

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United Kingdom (UK)

To operate a small business in the UK, ensure that you check for and apply for the appropriate licenses. Use the below links as a guide.

Temporary Events Notice (England and Wales)

This is for carrying out a ‘licensable activity’ on unlicensed premises.

Occasional licence (Scotland)

An occasional licence if you want to sell alcohol from unlicensed premises.

Food business registration

Food business registration if carrying out ‘food operations’ in a food business.


If you are located in Canada learn about permits, licences and regulations that apply to your business.

Permits and licences
Find the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal permits and licences that you may need to start or manage your business.

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Regulated business activities
Learn what regulations apply to key business activities like importing, exporting, marketing, managing employees, and transporting goods.

Regulated industries
Find out how certain industry sectors are regulated and what some of the key business obligations are in those sectors.

Be on the safe side, do your homework and check with the local government authorities before you proceed.


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