Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In a state of red tape...

We're from the "Live Free or Die" state. One of the few things it has going for it, besides beautiful mountains and no sales or income taxes, is the relative ease of dealing with bureaucracy.  Starting a writing business is easy. Register your business name, if you have one, or become an LLC or corporation, if you want to. No town or county licenses.

Not in the peach state. First you have to get a driver's license within 30 days of residency. And, to get that, you have to provide passports or birth certificates and proof of residency. And, if you have been married or divorced, marriage licenses and divorce decrees for each name change!

They actually ask you on the application if  (paraphrased) "you drink or use drugs to intoxication rendering you unable to operate a vehicle." WTF? Who would say yes?

Once you have that magic license, (they spelled our name wrong and it's SIMPLE--and RIGHT on all the hundreds of documents we provided) you have to go to:
1. the county tax commissioner for an affidavit proving you don't owe taxes
2. the city planning board for "certificate of occupancy," i.e. zoning allows writers to work at home! (if you swear clients don't visit...)
3. the county for a business license--with your photo ID!

Why do I bother? Well, I want to publicize us and perhaps even do some consulting work for the state. And they'll need--you guessed it--a copy of the business license. And probably my driver's license. 

Probably this is old news for most people in most states. But I think those states could learn something from New Hampshire when it comes to being entrepreneur-friendly. 


Anon A. Mus said...

While I didn't live in New Hampshire as long as Dan did, I noticed this southern obsession with bureaucratic paperwork when I moved to North Carolina. I have no doubt that the South's defeat in the Civil war was due in part to all those licenses that had to be fill out. The only reason we don't know about that Civil war form fiasco is because someone didn't file the paperwork. (Perhaps a northerner?)

Qing Cai said...
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