If you want to get a business license in West Hollywood, you might first have to undergo a background check and win approval from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
Many types of businesses are required by city code to submit to this process, which LASD Major Crimes Bureau License Detail Investigator Michelle Hauser detailed for the Business License Commission this week. Her department also conduct compliance checks and issue warnings and citations.
Businesses like animal grooming and fortune-telling require a minimal background check, or “like a fingerprint check,” Hauser said. Full background checks are reserved for massage parlors, secondhand dealers and pawn shops. These include criminal histories.
The department then makes a recommendation to the city based on their investigation. The city, however, still has the ability to overrule their denials.
Massage parlors, Hauser said, typically require in-person interviews because of the language barrier. Translators are often employed in these cases. Attorneys are sometimes included on the meeting.
Hauser and her partner conduct the business license recommendations for most of the county, processing nearly 1,000 applications every month, she said.
TYPES OF BUSINESSES
• ANIMAL GROOMING
• GUN DEALERS
• MASSAGE PARLORS
• MASSAGE TECHNICIANS
• MODEL STUDIOS
• PAWNBROKERS / SECONDHAND DEALERS
• SIDEWALK VENDORS
• COMMERCIAL SOLICITORS
Since corporations are the worst offenders (doing the most damage to more people), and given the opportunity to do the wrong thing (self-regulation), that is always their choice, I think they should top the list.
I fully support the idea of running background checks on applicants for business licenses in the City of West Hollywood.
Conducting background checks will help prevent individuals with nefarious backgrounds from obtaining business licenses, which could potentially putting both members of our community and visitors to WEHO at risk.
This isn’t something that should be debated. It’s a good common sense idea which should be applauded.
Does the City require background checks for those holding public office appointed positions and staff positions? If not, they should seriously consider doing so.