Can anemployermake me a job offer without having all licenses for doing business?

May I get a job offer from the company that is not yet in business? They don’t have all licenses that allows them to start to operate business.

Asked on March 31, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can always get a job offer, just like you can always sue but you need to consider whether the job offer, like a lawsuit, would be successful. Someone can as part of a start up and perhaps depending on the type of business, require a certain amount of employees to be set or reserved for hire before the business can either obtain a license or obtain clearance. The issue for you is to consider the likelihood this business is going to place you under a contract to pay you while you wait for clearance/licenses to begin working or if the hire is contingent upon the licenses obtained by the business. Make it clear what you need and see if the company is willing to put something in writing for you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, of course they can do this--there is no law against offering someone a job, or even paying them wages or a salary--prior to beginning business operations. In fact, it's no uncommon, particularly if the employee being offered a job would be helpful in getting the company up and running.

Practically, if you already have a  job, you need to be careful if taking the offer would require you to leave your current position for all the obvious reasons; you'd be trading a bird in the hand for two in the bush, so to speak. If licenses are an issue, you'd want to also satisfy yourself they *can* get the necessary licenses. For example, in my town of Montclair, NJ, there are very few liquor licenses and they are hard to get; it would be incredibly risky to give up a position to take a job with a bar that does not have it's license.

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