It was a dark and stormy night. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Okay, so I’m not writing a famous novel. This is a true story, anyway.

I’m opening a hobby and crafts store in our little town and I went to the bank to start a business account in the new shop’s name. There I was told that I needed to first get a business license and publish a DBA, a Doing Business As notice in the paper, which is required for businesses with a fictitious name, such as Acme Glass Company or such like.

So I asked, “which do I do first, the publishing or the license?” and they didn’t know. I called the newspaper and they didn’t know, so I called the county office that deals with such things and they said to call the clerk who only deals with licenses, and gave me her number. So I did. And here’s what happened.

She asked me if I was selling anything that had a serial number on it, things that you register the number of in case it gets stolen, and I’m not so I said No. Then she asked me if I was selling anything outside of my store, in the parking lot or wherever, and again I said No.

So she then told me I was not required to get a business license.

I never heard of such a thing, but when I went back to the bank to try again for a business account, I got it, because I also added my name ahead of the fictitious name, as the legal name of the business, making it a NON-fictitious name. So no need to publish in the paper, AND, run back and forth to the County Seat TWICE, a 50 mile excursion down a fast moving, narrow and winding mountain road, to deal with lots of bureaucracy and pay big fees for the privilege.

Freedom from government, you just don’t know how great it is until you suddenly have it.

8 Responses to “THE SHOPKEEPER”

  1. Ernesto Ribeiro says:

    “A Tale of Two Cities”, hum? Charles Dickens would be proud.

  2. Ernesto Ribeiro says:

    CRAZY bureaucracy !

    This bizarre situation is like a Kafka tale or SOCIALISM dictatorship!

  3. Black Sheep says:

    Ah, it’s ERNESTO. I’ve missed your smiling face around here. Yes, bureaucracy is like a cancer, there has to be a rule for this and a rule for that until you can’t move at all because you’re so bound up with rules. But I found a way around them once again.

    I don’t like a lot of the rules and I’ve avoided the majority of them for most of my life. That’s never done me any harm and it’s also allowed me to keep more of what I worked hard for, besides enjoying way more personal freedom than most people ever have. It’s all in knowing which rules you can safely ignore, and where you can best ignore them at.

  4. Ernesto Ribeiro says:

    …and I’m studying for another Public Contest for another job in Public Administration Technical — summarizing, BUREAUCRATIC WORK.

  5. Black Sheep says:

    You’re a devil in disguise. But as long as you confine your bureaucratic machinations to Brazil, it’s fine with me. 🙂

  6. Ernesto Ribeiro says:


    me, as a cartoon villain…

  7. Ernesto Ribeiro says:

    Well, CONGRATULATIONS for the OPENING DAY of your new store, mister!

  8. Black Sheep says:

    Thank you very much. The radio ads won’t start running for a few days yet and the businesses on either side of me were closed for the weekend, so it was a really slow first day. I had only one paying customer but that was way better than none. This is a small and poor community and I don’t expect to do a lot of business, my hope is that it pays for itself and makes at least some profit. Time will tell.