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The city is cracking down on business licenses. Thankfully, it will tell you if you need to worry.

I have a business. I'm an independent contractor here at It's Our Money, which means I pay the city of Philadelphia's Business Privilege Tax and have a business license.

And I have to say, my heart jumped when I saw this press release in my inbox from the city:


New effort will improve business operations and recoup lost City revenue.

Why? I have no idea if my business license is up to date. I paid the BPT. But the press release talks about businesses that "never renewed" their licenses. Was I supposed to renew? The release goes on:

If they are found to be operating without a license, individuals must purchase a new license including interest and penalties or have their business ceased.

I don't want to help "recoup lost City revenue"!

Here's the good news:

Over the next year, all delinquent license holders will be contacted and instructed to renew their licenses.

They (we?) will then have up to 45 days to come into compliance. Which seems very fair. Still, I was curious how I am supposed to know whether my license is expired, so I called L&I. Turns out that I purchased a lifetime business privilege license and just forgot about it (nice job, me!), but some of you business owners out there may have purchased one-year licenses, and certain kinds of businesses (sidewalk cafes, day care facilities) need to renew annually. L&I doesn't have a list up on its website, but, hey, you'll be hearing from them. So: Go forth and comply.

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