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      05-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
jpsum
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Starting a new business. Questions

I'm starting a new business this year and not sure what kind of license I need from the state, if any.

I'm starting a design/build company. I have a partner company in south america whose company will provide the design, engineering and product. Installation will be subcontracted out to a licensed installer in the states. Any project that requires a PE stamped drawing will be done by a PE for hire. My company will be bonded and insured.

I've looked into licenses in the state of CT and I believe I'm just a retailer offering goods and services. Therefore, I don't think I need a trade license.

Can any business owners here charm in? What other advice would you give a first time business owner?

I've been a project manager in the aviation/construction industry for 9 years. Time to work for myself.
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      05-10-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Best of luck to you JP. Very rewarding working for yourself.
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      06-15-2011, 08:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jpsum View Post
I'm starting a new business this year and not sure what kind of license I need from the state, if any.

I'm starting a design/build company. I have a partner company in south america whose company will provide the design, engineering and product. Installation will be subcontracted out to a licensed installer in the states. Any project that requires a PE stamped drawing will be done by a PE for hire. My company will be bonded and insured.

I've looked into licenses in the state of CT and I believe I'm just a retailer offering goods and services. Therefore, I don't think I need a trade license.

Can any business owners here charm in? What other advice would you give a first time business owner?

I've been a project manager in the aviation/construction industry for 9 years. Time to work for myself.
Congratulations and good luck. As for as regulations in CT, contacting a lawyer would be your best bet. As you are simply providing the equipment, I don't believe you would need a trade license, but again, a lawyer will no best. Are you selling the equipment to the final customer, and letting the final customer shop for bids, or are you bidding to the customer, providing the equipment to the sub, and paying them for the installation?

While I'm not sure what type of product you are repping for the US, as I am somewhat involved in a similar arrangement (we are the official US sub/tech for an Italian firm's process-production equipment). First, you mention the design and engineering is going to be done offsite - again, while this highly depends on what exactly the product is, at the bare minimum communication channels with South America must be rigid and accessible. Their time zone is not as different from ours as Italy, but I can't stress enough how important it is to be able to reach someone. Simple, unforeseeable things, can become priority very quickly, being able to reach someone who can give you direction becomes invaluable in these situations.

As I'm assuming this is specialized and relatively rare or new to the US marketplace, might I suggest developing a partnership with a sub for installation. You're free to do what you want, but you get what you pay for shopping for the lowest bid. Having a personal relationship with a competent company, having them primarily handle any relevant installation, troubleshooting, union jurisdiction (should they apply issues) in installation after installation will produce a pretty steep learning curve, and as you both learn the general idea of how subsequent installations go, cost of delivering the final product will drop.

I could go on and on, but those are some of the 2 major things that jump out at me, at least from what I've been dealing with for the last 2 years. If they don't apply to you, good luck regardless, if they do, feel free to ask me anything you think I might help with.
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      06-15-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
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I could go on and on, but those are some of the 2 major things that jump out at me
no really, he can
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      06-15-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
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You can talk to a lawyer if you wish to, but you dont have to. When you visit your local Business Licensing office to register your company, they will explain everything to you and give you the needed paper work to fill out.

It will take you about an hour at most.
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      06-15-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
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I would still suggest calling your lawyer. Its not hard and make sure you get everything right.

Best of luck! Make sure you have a good amount of $ for the first year.
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      06-15-2011, 12:08 PM   #7
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depending on the type of design, engineering work, and municipality, you may need a Professional Engineer (PE) stamp on all drawings. as long as a registered PE reviews the drawings and specifications done offshore, it may satisfy the local permitting requirements.

some friends and i looked at a similar model a few years ago--the most difficult aspect was getting professional liability insurance; the ins company wanted detailed resumes and work histories for all the engineers (this pretty much precluded doing too much offshore).
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      06-15-2011, 12:13 PM   #8
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depending on the type of design, engineering work, and municipality, you may need a Professional Engineer (PE) stamp on all drawings. as long as a registered PE reviews the drawings and specifications done offshore, it may satisfy the local permitting requirements.

some friends and i looked at a similar model a few years ago--the most difficult aspect was getting professional liability insurance; the ins company wanted detailed resumes and work histories for all the engineers (this pretty much precluded doing too much offshore).
my bad, i just read the OP closer and realized you will be using a PE. i would just add a few details to consider: the municipality u'll be working with (some are more anal then others in my experience), typical design complexity , and how closely the PE you hire will be reviewing it...
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