Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Amusing, Arbitrary Business Regulations

The problem with starting a business in an industry which requires licensing is figuring out what is required to get licensed. Regular readers will know I'm trying to start an eBay-based motorcycle dealership.

The actual selling of motorcycles on eBay is pretty easy. The hard part is meeting all of the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department's requirements to be a dealer. I have to have a properly-zoned location, with a permanent sign visible 300 feet away, space to display 2 vehicles (easy for motorcycles) and 2 customer parking spaces. I also have to maintain the business hours listed on my application.

More amusing, to me, is the requirement that I have a locking file cabinet (for business records, of course), a desk and chairs as well as other items indicating that my space is a place of business.

Office furniture is mandatory? I mean, I was just going to have a bunch of bean-bag chairs and a laptop. Shoot.

There's no bluffing my way through it either, because the MVD Dealer Licensing unit will send out an inspector to make sure my location is up to snuff before I can get my license.

Which presents kind of a catch-22: I don't want to lease a space before it's been approved, but I can't get approved until I have a space.

There's a local dealer association which will, for a fee, help newbie dealers get rolling. I'm going to have to look into their services, because I can sure use some expert advice.