Pinedale approves 1st reading for new Business License ordinance
Don’t pay $15 and you could face a $750 per day penalty for every day you operate your business without the license in Pinedale
by Pinedale Online!
August 19, 2008
The Pinedale Town Council approved the 1st reading for a new ordinance requiring anyone doing business in Pinedale to purchase a $15 annual business license.
Under the new ordinance, it will be unlawful for any person or his agent or any entity to engage in or carry on a business in Pinedale without obtaining a business license. The license applies to a "person, firm, partnership, corporation or any other entity whatsoever" that offers goods, chattels or services. Opening a place of business or making a single sale is construed as carrying on a business. If a business operates in more than one location, they must obtain a separate license for each place of business. Licenses must be prominently displayed in the place of business or available upon request.
The new ordinance does not apply to charitable, religious, non-profit, civic, governmental organizations or to out-of-home businesses.
This is an annual license which runs from January 1 through December 31 of each calendar year.
Failure to renew the license within 30 days will result in a $75 delinquency penalty.
Any business that violates any provision of this new ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor and "upon conviction shall be punished in accordance with Section 1.16.010." This section of the Pinedale Municipal Code states:
- "…any person who violates any of the provisions of the ordinances of the town, shall be punished by a fine not more than seven hundred fifty dollars, to which may be added costs." ($750.00)
- In addition, the Code states that "Each such person is guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of any provisions of the ordinances of the town is committed, continued, permitted or omitted by any such person, and he shall be punished accordingly." ($750 per day for every day beyond delinquency, if convicted. Bold emphasis added by Pinedale Online)
- The Town can collect reasonable attorney’s fees and costs related to prosecution of the violation of the ordinance.
The new ordinance carries a specific liability for Partnerships, LLCs and Corporations: "Should there by (sic) a violation by a partnership, LLC or corporation of any provision of this Chapter each partner of such partnership, member of such LLC and each officer of such corporation shall be deemed guilty as an individual and punished as provided by this Chapter. Any officer, agent or employee of a firm or corporation who is individually convicted of such violation shall be punished as provided by this Chapter."
While on the surface the $15 license seems like a fairly inconsequential cost for a business to pay. Reading through the details of the ordinance however, there is a hefty penalty for not paying the $15 fee. Under the misdemeanor penalty of the Pinedale Municipal Code and this new ordinance, if an LLC with two business partners neglects to get the $15 business license and they do business in Pinedale for a month, and they are cited and found in violation of the ordinance, they could each be charged with up to $750 per day penalty. For 30 days delinquency that could add up to $22,500 each for that month they are in violation. Their combined LLC fine could be $45,000, plus attorney’s fees and court costs, if the Town Judge decided to hit them with the maximum penalty for the violation.
The new ordinance must pass three public readings to become effective. The Town Council approved the 1st reading of the ordinance on August 11th. The second reading will be held on Monday, August 25 at 5:30 PM in the Pinedale Town Hall. If finally approved after the three readings, it would go into effect on January 1, 2009.
Click on this link to read Pinedale Town Ordinance 440: Pinedale Business License Ordinance (PDF, 5 pages)
Click on this link to read Section 1.16.010: Pinedale Municipal Code – Penalty for violations (PDF, 2 pages)
To make comments about this article, send to firstname.lastname@example.org.