Chapter 13 - Small Business Law
For example, Lotando has a spaza shop, which sells only dry goods like tea, washing powder, coke and so on. He sells no fresh foods so he doesn’t need a licence. Patrick sells fruit and vegetables. Joyce has a stand next to the road where she makes hotdogs and fishcakes. The things Patrick and Joyce sell can go off and so they need a licence.
But no licence is necessary if:
For a licence to sell alcohol, you must apply to the Liquor Board for a liquor licence. The procedure is complicated and it is best to get a lawyer to help you.
For the other types of business licences, you must contact the local council, which will give you an application form. If you are the owner of the business you must fill in the form and give it to the local council, with a copy of your Identity Document and an application fee. (See Problem 2: Starting a business which needs a business licence)
Different government departments will contact the owner, to make an appointment to visit the business. These inspectors will visit the business:
The inspectors must visit the business within 35 days after you have handed in the form. Your local council can give you guidelines of the things inspectors look at. The inspectors will visit the business and tell the council what they have found out about the business.
If the inspectors want the owner to make some changes to the business premises, the owner must apply to the local council for another 14 days. If the owner does not apply for another 14 days and the work on the premises is not finished by 30 days after giving in the form, the owner will have to apply again and the inspectors will have to come again.
The local council will give the person the licence allowing them to do business. The council can give the licence with specific conditions.
Example: Nolita applied for a licence to sell fruit and vegetables as a hawker. The council gave her the licence, but on condition that she only trades between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. If Nolita sells fruit and vegetables before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m., the council can take away her licence.
The council will not give a licence if:
Traders do not have to apply for a new licence every yea, but they do have to apply for a new licence if:
It is a criminal offence to operate without a licence when this is required by the nature of the business. (See What types of business needs a licence?) The owner can be fined or given a prison sentence of up to 3 years. It is also a criminal offence to sell alcohol without a liquor licence.
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