When starting up a business, you need to figure out what business licenses/permits to obtain before you open up the door. So where do you get the license/permits information? After some googling, we found License123. We were excited to try it out, but we got mixed reviews on the service through googling “License123 Reviews”. We think the best way to validate whether it’s a good service is to try it out ourselves and share our experience. Here is what happened.
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We tested out License123 by trying to search for permit information for a hair salon in Menlo Park, California (where the salon is located). The following is the first screenshot:
After clicking on “Get Licenses Now” button, the tool took us to a payment page. It cost $99 to get the permits/license information. This is kinda expensive but we bit the bullet to see what we get for that $99.
Next, we are on the “Thanks for your order page.” I clicked on “Go to my report.”
Finally, I got to see the 8 licenses and 9 forms I need for my business. I can click on each of the license items to get more details. The following shows “Menlo Park business License.”
The following shows “California Barbering and Cosmetology Establishment License”
It’s not bad. But $99 for this is a bit excessive. We did some research to see if we can find free resource for this.
Damn it! We found a free government website.
After extensive research, we found a license search website in California. calgold.ca.gov. There’s a goldmine of information there and it’s completely free.
We start with our search for the Hair Salon in California.
We immediately got the following list of results. It’s a very long list. In fact, it covers everything required mentioned in License123 plus more. It lists out the summary information for each item. You will have to go into individual items’ website to figure out exactly how to get the permit (License123’s user experience is a bit better on that regard.) The list includes important requirements like “Fire Prevention Information/Inspection” and “Occupational Safety and Health Information,” but the requirements are missing in License123’s report!!!
We don’t believe we get much value from License123 by paying the $99. More importantly, it’s missing some important licensing requirements. We can get more requirements from the Cal Gold website for free. If your business is in California, I don’t see a huge point for paying for the $99 for incomplete licensing information.
After testing License123, we decided to compile a list of the free government license search websites to save business owners time and money. Most states have such free government license search websites. There’re a handful of states who don’t have it. For those states, perhaps License123 will be a good place to go to. But we believe mostly you don’t have to pay to get the license requirements information. We will publish the list of websites shortly. Stay tuned.
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