The rules governing how you open a business in Maricopa are about to change.
City leaders have eliminated the requirement for obtaining business licenses per Chapter 8 of the city code before opening their doors. This applies to most, but not all, new business openings.
“The changes to Chapter 8 are two-fold,” said Denyse Airheart, Maricopa’s director of Economic Development. “Ultimately, what we wanted to do is modify the business license program, so that it was as easy as possible for our businesses.”
Airheart said members of her department interview business owners in the community on a regular basis.
“We understood that a business license, and the business license process, was a bit cumbersome,” she said. “Our goal is to eliminate any challenges that happen that keep people from obtaining a business license.”
The other side of changes in the city’s Chapter 8 rules helps existing business grow.
“We have learned that businesses need help with marketing. We eliminated business licenses for all non-adult orientated businesses and regulated businesses. That includes auctioneers, pawn brokers, scrap dealers, second-hand dealers, tobacco retail establishments, massage establishments, tattoo or body piercing as well as after-hour establishments,” she said.
The businesses, which are still regulated, also include adult entertainment, marijuana dispensaries and escort services.
“We want to be aware of who is running those businesses,” she said. “Those businesses still must obtain a business license. For everyone else what we have rolled out is a business registry program. It is extremely simple. This information helps the city and the Economic Development Department to understand what the business climate looks like.”
Airheart added the business registry is also a tool for the public as people are hunting for products and services in Maricopa.
The new business registry will allow people to look for products and services locally and promote businesses through social media.
She added that the current $50 fee for a business license is unlikely to keep businesses from coming to Maricopa.
“I think streamlining the process is very attractive for a small business,” she said.