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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Getting a business license in Las Vegas- Can you say 'Red tape' (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jonathanmc
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I just found out that in Las Vegas to get a business license to do anything that could be considered part of the psychic arts I have to jump through several hoops.

I have to get a ten year background check, four people to vouch for me, copies of my birth certificate and driver’s license and pay several hundred dollars. This will take four months. Once I get my card I will have to pay $100 every six months to renew the card.

Has anyone else run into this in your area? I was very clear that I was not claiming to be psychic but if I do palmistry, tarot cards, aura readings etc. I am considered a psychic.

So I guess when someone asks me where I got my Psychic powers I can honestly tell them the City of Las Vegas.
Bill Palmer
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Have you ever thought of becoming a ULC minister? This will bypass a lot of the red tape and BS.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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MentaThought
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Quote:
On 2006-07-29 14:13, Bill Palmer wrote:
Have you ever thought of becoming a ULC minister? This will bypass a lot of the red tape and BS.

LOL!!!
"A good mentalist ... will teach you a miracle because he understands the subtleties ..." -- Banachek

"If this works it'll be BEAUTIFUL!" - The Amazing Kreskin on a stunning effect he performed on his 1970s television series (PS: it worked)
Jonathanmc
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Bill,

If you are serious, please pm me. If not please let me in on the joke.
Scott Xavier
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ULC is The universal life church and as such, you are a minister. Religion and state are separate entities. Smile
jimtron
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On 2006-07-31 04:49, Scott Xavier wrote:
ULC is The universal life church and as such, you are a minister. Religion and state are seperate entities. ;-)

How does that help Jon? In Vegas, do they waive the aforementioned rules for ministers?
leapinglizards
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It's grey, and depends on the authorities in the area. If ALL you have is a ULC minisry credential, it is entirely possible that they will disregard it unless you also have 401.3C non profit status etc etc... In Nevada, their site says you have to contact the individual county in which you live to find out what ELSE you have to do to register your ordination.

A lot of folks try to use ULC to get around hypnosis regulations in various states that legislate it. They usully get cease and desist notices, and ULC is not as active on their member's behalf as they once were. There was a TIME when their lawyers would get involved on members behalfs... not so much any more.

Best approach is just to get a license as an entertainer, then do palm reading "shows." rather than charging for palm reading. Do Aura "lectures" rather than reading auras. Again, it depends upon their interpretations of the laws etc.
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
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<BR>www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com
Carlos the Great
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Jonathon,

Have you perhaps thought about why there is red tape for this type of business? Perhaps people setting up temporarily in order to swindle people out of money (and not paying taxes on it, which really ticks the government off)? Government has the uneviable task of both trying to protect the public as well as supporting businesses. This type of red tape is pretty much the best way right now. They know you are going to be around and, furthermore, it protects people already in business from just anybody setting up shop at the drop of a hat. In other words, you have some level of protection as the operator of such a business because it prevents people from just opening competing businesses.

I was wondering what kind of business background you had, esp. as $200 annually is almost nothing. I think I spend more on coffee creamer in a year than that (well, maybe not, but pretty close... lots of coffee drinkers).

-Carlos
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Bill Palmer
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Actually, it's a 501 C3 non-profit form, I believe. I think that is more applicable to churches.

The founder of the ULC passed away a few years ago, and now the new president of the Monastery is tightening things up a bit. It was not the chuch, but Bishop Helmsley, who fought all the battles. He was an interesting character. He was a functional illiterate who, according to the attorneys he hired, had a fundamental understanding of constitutional law regarding religion that surpassed theirs.

He never lost a case. After he died, though, some of the churches that were using their ministries as a front to avoid taxes from selling things like real estate came up against the IRS. There was a definite difference in taking "love offerings" and "donations" than there was in selling goods for profit. So they had to keep very strict books, etc.

And you would have to do that. However, if your church says that ministers can provide counseling, there is very little they can do about regulating what counseling tools you use, from tarot cards to palm reading.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Jonathanmc
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Carlos,

To be honest these are the first businesses I have ever started. I agree that the red tape is probably there for a reason. I wonder though how it is possible to swindle anyone out of money giving palm readings? It's entertainment that lasts for a given amount of time. And they are paying for the time.

I am one of those strange people that think there should be less government, even at the risk of some people not being protected against unscrupulous palm readers. So if I decide to pay $200 for coffee that is my choice, I don't think I should have to pay the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police every six months to be an entertainer. This smacks of a protection scheme as used by the mob. This just happens to be the police.
Bill Palmer
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The big racket in several cities involving palm readers and tarot readers was centered around Gypsies, for the most part. I knew a tribe of these people when I was playing music. They were friends of mine. I learned a lot of their traditions, but there was always a wall between us, because I was a gadjo. However, here's how they would bilk people with palm reading (or any other kind of reading)

Note: I'm not advocating doing this. I just want everyone to understand why the laws are in place.

A wealthy woman in black walks into a Gypsy fortune teller's place. Right away, the Gypsy knows from her clothing and her jewelry that she has lots of money. She also knows she is a widow. So, the gypsy starts a reading. In the middle of it, she says, "Oh! NO! Do you have a $10 bill? I see something TERRIBLE here."

The lady gives her the bill. The Gypsy wraps it around an egg and mutters an incantion over it. Then she breaks it into a vessel, sometimes a bowl, sometimes the toilet, and there is a massive black glob in the egg white.

"OH, NO!!! YOUR MONEY IS CURSED!!!! YOUR HUSBAND MUST HAVE... Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to speak ill..."

So the victim asks if there is any way to lift the curse. The Gypsy instructs her to bring a brand new $100 bill and three new white linen handkerchiefs to her the next day.

The Gypsy takes the bill, wraps it in one of the handkerchiefs, and sews it up. She keeps the other two handkerchiefs. She tells the victim to take the handkerchief home, sleep with it under her pillow and open it the next morning. She does this and finds that the money has doubled. WOW!!!

So she brings it back, and the Gypsy reseals the handkerchief with both bills inside it. The next day, there are $400 in it.

She tells the victim to go to her bank and withdraw all of her money (or a specified sum, it doesn't really matter) and bring it with her. It looks like she will be able to lift the curse.

So, the victim brings the money in. She watches as the Gypsy sews the money into the handkerchief. With a bit of deft misdirection from one of the Gypsy kids, the Gypsy switches the handkerchief with the money for a handkerchief full of newspaper, cut to match the size of the bills. (Remember the other handkerchiefs?)

She says, "Take this home, sleep on it for three days, then open it. The curse will be lifted and you can redeposit your money." The victim goes out the front, the Gypsy goes out the back, into her waiting van, where her husband has the kids and the furniture. The Gypsy heads for parts unknown.

Three days later, the victim realizes what has happened.

BTW, the Gypsy woman who told me about this said "I wouldn't do this to an old lady. I have a mother. But someone like you who should know better .. I'll take him for every cent he has."

That's why they want a business license for fortune tellers. And that's why they require all the background checks and identification.

Let me add this. I do not advocate this kind of thing. It's theft and fraud. I have purposefully left out the mechanics of the Gypsy switch. It's not the one that Korem and Racherbaumer have written up.

Regarding using the ministry to get around hypnosis regulations -- Kreskin has that one beat a country mile. He leaves it up to the authorities to prove he is using hypnosis. He says they can't prove it exists. The reason -- his home state is Pennsylvania. When Kreskin started his career, hypnosis for any purpose was illegal in Pennsylvania. Kreskin says he uses "suggestion." He challenges anyone to prove hypnosis exists.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Carlos the Great
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Hi Jonathan,

Please don't misunderstand me, I wasn't taking a pro or con position, merely explaining the facts as I understand them. I have an MBA so I had to take a lot of business theory and I can respond to each of your points (such as, another reason the government might regulate is to keep the mob out of it or to make sure that people are actually *ALLOWED* to get into the business). For example, if you try to enter the vending business in Hawaii, it is hard because it is mob-controlled. People would love to pay $200 a year to get into it but they can't. Once again, I am not taking a pro or con stance.

I also didn't mean to say anything about the cost except that it could be a lot more. Every business needs to purchase a business license. You can operate without one but illegally. For reasons specific to your field, see the post above. For reasons outside your field, let me give an example: my coworker wanted to lay new sod, she found a lawn and garden company in the yellow pages and hired them. However, when they tore up her existing lawn, they destroyed her sprinkler system. They left to get replacement pipes and never came back. They had her money and destroyed her lawn and sprinkler system then *poof* disappeared.

I guess my point is that what you call red tape is based on the idea of protecting people. The government takes taxes and supposedly uses those taxes to do that, protect its citizens. It's not going to change because the gov will not stop taking taxes, people will demand "service" for their tax dollars, and there is no legal recourse to force the changes. However, and this is what I was getting at earlier, $200 is actually a pittance compared to what restaurants or other businesses have to pay in terms of business licenses. That may not sit well (and, once again, I am not saying it is right or wrong) but it is the truth.

The decision that needs to be made now is whether you really want to go through with your business. Once again, if $200 seems steep, maybe you should work on refining a business plan a bit, maybe finding a different angle, or maybe even trying something else.

Finally, based on my understanding, Nevada is one of the easier states to start a business in and I would really be shocked if it took 4 months to get a business started. I know you probably don't want to hear it, buy maybe retaining a lawyer to help with the paperwork and details can expediate it. Think of it this way, if the lawyer costs $4,000 and you make $1,000 a month, you break even in four months, when your business would just be getting started if you did it on your own.

Finally, have you read any books on starting your own business? Find a used book store and pick one up, at least that is my recommendation. Esp. if you can find one specific to your state. There are all kinds of tricks and tips and maybe, just maybe, you may qualify for some sort of waiver on the fees for the first year or two.

Just recommendations since I am trying to help.

-Carlos
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Jonathanmc
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Carlos,

The business license for my basic magic show stuff was easy to get and should be in the mail by the end of the week. The four months is for the ten year background check, four references etc. The estimate of time was from the woman at the Las Vegas business license office who does this every day. This all costs money just to get, plus the regular business license. The $200 annually is for a card I have to carry around with my picture on it that licenses me to be a psychic. Just as women of a certain profession in Nevada carry a sheriffs card. This was the gist of my first post.

Bill interesting story. I guess that would be a good reason to license people. But would the gypsies in your story care? I mean, license or no license what they were doing was illegal. People with licenses commit crimes every day.

I appreciate the help. Yes I am going forward as soon as I can get my gypsy friend to be one of my references.
Tony Iacoviello
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Jonathanmc

A friend of mine went though a similar process there. He was a food handler. You have to pay the same fees and carry a similar card just to work in Wendy's. They are not singling out this profession.

Just trying to put it all in prospective.

Tony
jimtron
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I am one of those strange people that think there should be less government...


Jonathan, you may be a strange person Smile but it's not strange or unusual to want less government; that's a common view held by Conservatives and Libertarians and many others.

In my opinion, we need regulation to keep watch on the Enrons and Microsofts and big drug companies and snake oil salesmen of the country. It would be nice if we could trust people not to rip off or endanger consumers, but that hasn't proved to be the case.
Decomposed
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Bill, I would like to know the mechanics of the Gypsy switch for the betterment of mankind only.

Thanks in advance,

Candini

:P
Bill Palmer
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Jonathan:

It isn't a matter of caring. If there were licensing of fortune-tellers in Houston, the Gypsies couldn't put up a sign saying that they were doing that. Gypsies always advertise on a rather grand scale. So they wouldn't be able to do that in Vegas.

Carlos:

Licensing would not have prevented the damage done to the lady's yard or given her any recourse. It might have served as a filter, but we run into this all the time in Texas. There are so many people doing work that they are not actually trained to do, that it is very frustrating for a homeowner, when we think we are hiring experienced people. I've had foundation work done by "old, reliable, licensed" firms, only to find completely undocumented workers digging holes unde my house and forgetting to do part of the work. I'm not making assumptions about the workers. Once I told them a few jokes in Spanish, they told me their life stories.

Nevada is a very easy state to incorporate in, but incorporation does not automatically provide licensing.

Candini:

Actually, unless you were a woman who wore a loosely fitting blouse, you couldn't do it.

There are specific reasons Gypsy readers are women.

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


On 2006-07-31 18:21, jimtron wrote:
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am one of those strange people that think there should be less government...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Jonathan, you may be a strange person but it's not strange or unusual to want less government; that's a common view held by Conservatives and Libertarians and many others.

In my opinion, we need regulation to keep watch on the Enrons and Microsofts and big drug companies and snake oil salesmen of the country. It would be nice if we could trust people not to rip off or endanger consumers, but that hasn't proved to be the case.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I think we need someone to watch the military. Right now in Texas City, we have people dying because of DOD experiments done a couple of decades ago. They are fighting for a settlement even as I write this. And it's not just the Bush administration in this case. All of the past administrations on both sides of the aisle since the deed was discovered have tried to postpone a settlement in it.

That's really bad news. Eisenhower warned us. We didn't listen.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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