When the word license is mentioned, a lot can come to mind, and for a good reason. Many would simply define it as a document or permit that qualifies you to sell, distribute, operate, or offer certain professional services. At times, it can be the difference between earning revenue legitimately and breaking the law. This is why many jurisdictions will require you to obtain a license or permit when starting any type of business that the law of the land considers legal and legitimate. Most importantly, you always need permission from the owner before using, selling, or distributing work or intellectual property that is not organically yours!
In all honesty, consumers are wise and well-informed. Most of your prospects will also check your license first before hiring you or purchasing products from your company. As anyone would expect, this is perhaps why many professionals and businesses approach licensing service providers for assistance in this age and day. Before seeking these services, however, it is best to be well informed. Without further ado, here are three things you should know about licensing services.
1. What Are Licensing Services
Licensing services essentially grant you permission to use another person’s property subject to the terms and conditions they set for you. Licensing services allow the licensor (the one who grants permission) and the licensee (the one who receives permission) to agree on the conditions of the license and formalize it. In case of any breach, the agreement assures that the licensee has the legal authority to use the licensor’s property following the terms of the agreement.
The agreement does not grant the recipient ownership of the property, but rather the permission to use it as long as the receiver adheres to the owner’s limitations, standards, and restrictions. Licensing agreements for intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrighted content, are the most prevalent.
If you use this property without first obtaining permission, you risk being prosecuted for violating copyright laws. All the same, there are many other types of licensing services apart from the one that most people are more familiar with. In most nations, states, and industries, the licensor is usually the government, and the licensee is the specific business or business arrangement.
2. Types of Licensing Services
There are many different types of licensing services. In most cases, this depends on the industry in question and the purpose. However, the three main kinds of licensing services include the following.
- Initial Licensing Services
This is the first and most important stage in the licensing procedure. This service is for a company that has yet to obtain any kind of license. Often issued by a government body, the license obtained here allows the holder to begin the activities specified in the agreement without legal hurdles.
In the US, operating any type of business necessitates conformity to the specific State regulations. If you are a debt collection agency in California, it means obtaining a certificate of authority from the secretary of state, and a collection agency bond. You will also need a California Debt Collection License before you start operating legally. Many business licenses also have a specified validity timeline, which brings us to the next important point.
- License Renewal Services
It is not always the case that obtaining a license for whatever purpose you have in mind is the end of the process. The license is usually only valid for a certain period. You may have to renew it after a while depending on the specifications and stipulations in the original licensing agreement you signed. This is where the renewal services for licenses come in. The service provider keeps track of your license validity and ensures timely license renewals on your behalf.
- Corporate Change Notifications
In any business, multiple things keep on changing. There are certain aspects of your business that if changed, you need to inform the licensing authorities. This includes changes in details such as business ownership, officers, managers, or the business address. If there are any modifications in your business, license service providers will notify the licensing authorities so your company does not face fines.
3. Why You Need a License
There are a variety of reasons why your company requires a license. For starters, it’s a legal requirement, and you cannot really function without one. Secondly, business registration and licensing aid in holding a company accountable for its activities while keeping the public and the company safe. Professional licenses are also used to confirm particular talents so that customers can be confident that you or your company can perform as promised.
These licenses are also used by the government to keep track of revenue, plus you need them to file your taxes. It would be extremely difficult to keep track of your unpaid taxes without a license, which could result in fines. Before using another person’s creative work or intellectual property, the law requires you to get a permit from the original owner or legally nominated representative.
In summary, licensing services can have several advantages to you as an individual or business. They can spare you from a great deal of agony, legal problems, bureaucracy hurdles, reputational issues, possible deception, and operational inconveniences. Hopefully, the above points shed some light on why, how, and where to seek these services.