Updates to Business Licenses

Business Licensing is a constantly evolving line of work. It requires quite a bit of research into state laws and local municipal codes to ensure that any business coming into a city is doing so in a manner that follows any applicable laws. The duty of any Business License Official is to look into any changes in these laws and assist businesses in keeping updated on them as well. Some of the most recent laws that went into effect may affect your business, and it is best to learn what may apply to you. Here are some highlights from the 2017 legislative session.

If you own a business that serves alcohol:

There now needs to be a sign stating if the establishment is licensed as a bar or a restaurant by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The theory behind this law is that it will clarify which businesses have a limit on the sales of alcohol. For example, even though properly licensed restaurants have the opportunity to serve alcohol with a permit from the DABC, they are only allowed to have up to 30% of their total sales be from alcohol. Along with that, there will no longer be the option for a proximity variance for a location within 300 feet of a church, public park, school, or other various public establishments. Prior to this change, there was an option for businesses to get a variance if they were within 600 or 200 feet of one of those areas. Lastly, a bar can now be visible under certain provisions set by the state. Please see more details here: https://abc.utah.gov/new/new_legislation.html

If you own a food truck business:

Great news for Food Truck owners! A law went into effect on May 9th of this year, stating that though cities can still require a business license for a food truck to enter their city, they cannot require more than one license and cannot charge unnecessary fees or require more than what is necessary to license the business.  You can read the entire updated law here: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title11/Chapter56/C11-56_2017050920170509.pdf

If you run a business out of your home:

You should not be required by your jurisdiction to get a business license if your business doesn’t have an offsite impact to the neighborhood where you are residing. This mainly includes businesses that are run solely out of a home without any employees or customers coming onsite. If your business requires a license and has no offsite impact, you should be able to get one without being charged a fee. Additionally, this law protects juveniles from being required to get and maintain a business license, as well as businesses that are only run occasionally out of the home. This law was mainly geared towards the growth of the tech industry and businesses that are run entirely over the internet. You can find the updated to home business licenses here: https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/SB0081.html

If you have questions about how the 2017 Utah Legislative updates may affect you or your business, please feel free to contact your local jurisdiction or the Women’s Business Center.

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Marissa Kearns
Business License Official
South Salt Lake City
Department of Business Licensing

Marissa has been working with the City of South Salt Lake for the past three years, most recently as their Business License Official. Having gone to SUU for her undergrad in Criminal Justice, learning business has become a new and exciting adventure for her. Outside of work she enjoys spending time outdoors and going to live music shows, having become known around the office as the concert aficionado.