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New Orleans! Yea!

Adam and I are getting out of town on Saturday and spending a few days in New Orleans for our two year anniversary. This is our itinerary (according to me): eat beignets, take pictures of pretty buildings, eat a po’boy or two, short walk, maybe a nap, dip in the hotel pool, shove some BBQ shimp into my face, then some bananas foster, put on fake eyelashes and red lipstick, go out on the town and consume one too many adult beverages.

Wake up and do it all over. Three times in a row. It’s going to be awesome.

original photo by Gina Zeidler

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Adventures in business licensing

Today, a new blog series is born. I’m calling it “Adventures in…”, where the … will be replaced with some kind of crazy, disappointing, funny, sad, silly, stressful, awesome, uplifting, inspiring, depressing, or weird account of starting a small business.

The best place to start – the business license.

The how to of getting a business license in Brooklyn sounded easy enough: print form off internet, fill in form, notarize form, bring form and $120 in cash to Brooklyn Court House, leave as a business owner. I spent hours upon hours researching what form to get and how to fill it in. I asked questions in forums and waited patiently for those who have been there before me to answer.  My mind was tormented over which form to fill out and where to get it notarized. I felt like this shouldn’t be as hard or as confusing as I was making it to be. New York City has a great website for small business owners with simple instructions in simple english.  I poured over the information on that website for night after night after night, making sure that all my bases where covered so that I could walk into the court house and walk out lickity split.

On the hottest afternoon in the whole summer of 2010, I printed out my forms, I filled them out, I got them notarized, and off to the court house I went. With my head held high, up to the window I walked with my paperwork and cash all set to go.

Man behind the counter: “Ma’m, this is the wrong form.”

Yep, after all of that research, I printed and filled and notarized the wrong form. All those hours of research and questions and walking around NYC looking for a notary where of no use.

Man behind the counter: “walk across the street (some address I don’t remember) to the bodega in the lobby, that man has all forms you need and he’s a notary.”

WHAT?! You’re telling me that I didn’t even have to waste all my time searching the internet to end up printing out the wrong form? There is a man here who I can buy my forms from, notarize them, and get some candy? All in one stop? SIGN ME UP.

Let me tell you, this bodega owner has hit. the. jackpot. He owns a small candy/newspaper/snack stand in one of the court building lobbies. He also sells every official government form you will ever need. He is also a notary. This man saw a need, filled it, and is bringing in the big bucks from people like me who come to the court house with the incorrect paperwork.

A few weeks later, my official business license came in the mail. Lesson learned: the next time I need to file papers at the Brooklyn Court House, ask around for the notary/bodega and just buy the papers there.

pic of the Brooklyn Court House from wikipedia.

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