Everybody’s Business: Non-traditional businesses need licenses, tax ID

By Gordon Smith, business specialist and Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Commu

What does it take to register and license a new business that will not be a traditional “store-front” operation or located in a commercial area?

Some examples of these can include home-based businesses, Internet businesses and mobile services. Sometimes the rules that govern business registration and licensing can be difficult to find or understand.

Let’s start with something that is common to all businesses in New Mexico, and that is gross receipts tax (sales tax).

When money changes hands for goods and services in our state, there is a strong possibility it is subject to gross receipts tax. It’s easy to get a gross receipts tax ID number. The registration can be done online, by mail, or by fax. There is no cost to register but there is an obligation to file a report periodically even if there are no receipts to report.

For information one can go to tax.newmexico.gov or call the Taxation and Revenue Department toll free at (575) 763-5515.

The subject of gross receipts tax is fairly complex and it is highly advisable to consult with an accounting professional for advice and assistance.

Generally, anyone performing any occupation, business, trade, or vocation within the corporate limits of any village, town, or city must have a business license. After getting the gross receipts tax number, a business license can be obtained at city hall.

The process is somewhat easier for non-traditional business, but certain restrictions apply. The Municipal Code for Clovis is easy to access at cityofclovis.org, and the Title 5 section pertains to business licenses.

Non-traditional businesses will also be subject to zoning ordinance restrictions, so it’s a good idea to contact the Building Safety Department before applying for the business license.

The last question may be if there are any other licenses?

There are certain occupations, trades and vocations that require a license from a state agency.

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department oversees thirty-three occupations and five industries that require licensure.

The New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Division oversees and licenses the child care industry at all levels.

If the business entails food, health, or environmental risks; the New Mexico Environment Department may regulate that business.

There may be a federal license involved, such as a federal firearms license for a gun dealer working out of a home base.