Gone are the days when someone can come up with an idea for a new business, rent a storefront and open to the public.
Instead, what they will hear is: You need a license for that. And, often, it is more than one license or permit needed to open in the city of Los Angeles.
Collaborating with a web-based company, Councilman Eric Garcetti on Wednesday launched a new service available at his website, cd13.com, where potential businesses can find out all the permits and licenses needed for everything from offering a service like accounting to opening a bar or restaurant.
"This is making use of modern technology to get information out to businesses," said Garcetti, who is running for mayor next year and learned about the service provided by License123.com in his role as chairman of the Jobs and Business Development Committee.
"I want people to know that L.A. is open for business and we can help them find out what permits they need."
The site also offers printable versions of the forms needed and the contact information for the agencies.
"We need to be more aggressive and innovative about creating jobs," Garcetti said.
License123 was created by Jason Nazar and began operations this year as part of the Docstoc company.
Its goal is to have information for all 50 states but has the most information available for California. In Los Angeles, it includes information on all permits and licenses needed from the city, county, state and federal governments.
Garcetti said some of the agencies can take in applications electronically but many still require the filing of forms.
"Our goal at the city is to have all agencies working electronically," Garcetti said. "What we are trying to do is provide a central location for businesses."
Garcetti has an agreement with License123, which normally charges $49.95 per firm, to provide the information at no cost to any business in any part of the city that uses his website. Garcetti has budgeted $25,000 for the initial effort.
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