The Miami Downtown Development Authority (Miami DDA) and Miami-Dade Bar collaborate with local law school students and volunteer attorneys to launch a Small Business Licensing Clinic to assist downtown core business owners and the City of Miami with permit matters announced. .
Developed to address the major challenges reported by new business owners applying for permits, this free program is administered by the Miami-Dade Bar Association on behalf of the Miami DDA and is registered in Florida with Sunbiz. Available to all businesses doing business in Brickell. Area, Central Business District, or Arts and Entertainment District.
“We are excited about this collaboration to provide local business owners with knowledgeable legal counsel and help them better navigate the regulatory environment. We want to give them the support they need so they can focus on creating jobs and delivering economic growth,” said Roger Slade, president of Miami-Dade Bar.
“The Permit Clinic team works to educate business owners who want to start, expand, repurpose or legalize an unlicensed business,” Slade further explained.
By enrolling in the program, business owners receive up to 10 hours of assistance with a variety of issues, including:
• Navigate the City of Miami’s ePlan permitting infrastructure.
• Applying for New Business Licenses and Special Permits.
• Acquisition of Certificate of Use, Business Tax Receipt and Fire Permit.
• Understanding whether the desired business use is permitted.
• Determine if a demolition permit is required to start or expand your business.
• Applying for a zoning confirmation letter; and
• Guidance to employers on how to appropriately respond to feedback, initiate permitting processes, and schedule inspections.
“The Miami-Dade Bar is committed to giving back to the community. By working with the Miami DDA, leveraging its competent membership, and providing mentoring and hands-on experience to law students, we are helping the community grow. It can significantly help small business owners who are the backbone of the industry.” -Dade Barr.
The Miami-Dade Bar Association staffs the Permit Clinic, and students from law schools at the University of Miami, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern Law School, and the University of St. Thomas run the program. After receiving extensive training from the Bar Association, students are paired with experienced attorneys from Miami’s most prestigious law firms.
From there, students are matched with business owners looking to avoid or solve permitting issues. Students will earn credit for their work through this practice. If the issue is not resolved within her 10 hours, the program will refer the business owner to a lawyer or expedite who can continue to help.
The Permit Clinic also counsels business owners on issues related to special permits, license revocation appeals, labor law, life safety inspections, OSHA regulations, and sales tax compliance, among other issues that significantly impact small businesses. Refers to appropriate resources.
“Everyone can benefit from this highly creative solution to a challenging regulatory environment,” said Slade. “This will be of tremendous help to business owners who find themselves stuck trying to resolve permit issues.”
Attorneys, law students, and businesses interested in participating in the program should register at https://miamidadebar.org/permit-clinic/ or call 305-371-2220.
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