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  • a hypothetical site provides independent contractors to do massage
  • and this site offers contractors in many countries and in almost any city of u.s.a.
  • but i know that the municipal codes of many jurisdictions say:
    • that this kind of company needs a massage permit and/or an outcall permit
    • and that this kind of company must have a business office in a specific zone of the specific municode's jurisdiction (ex. c1)

? and so, does this company really need to get these permits in hundreds of jurisdictions (every place that they service)

? and does this company also require an additional business office in multiple jurisdictions, regardless whether they'll actually use the additional offices?

edit (2019 dec 27):

  • i was conceptualizing a business that gets paid referral fees by the clients and independent contractors
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does this company really need to get these permits in hundreds of jurisdictions (every place that they service)

Yes. Typically, there would be a contract between the national company and a local subcontractor who provides the service, and the local subcontractor would get the occupational and business licenses under its name doing business as the name of the national company with the national company's permission.

The subcontractor must do whatever is necessary to meet the requirements of local law, and if local law says massages can't be provided outside of a brick and mortar location in a particular land use code zone then that is all that can be lawfully provided in that jurisdiction. It is actually uncommon to require a brick and mortar office location for an outcall business when outcalls are permitted, but I'm sure that some jurisdiction does that.

Of course, outcall massage is regulated primarily on the grounds that it is a front for prostitution, and honestly, the proposed national business in this question smells like just such a business.

does this company also require an additional business office in multiple jurisdictions, regardless whether they'll actually use the additional offices?

See above. Also, most jurisdictions don't require a physical office to do business, but do require that the national company register its corporation as one authorized to do business in that jurisdiction and have a registered agent for service of process in that jurisdiction. There are companies, such as The Corporation Company, that provide registered agents with physical registered offices for other companies on a fee for service subcontracted basis.

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    Does your answer change if the OP has instead said "a website provides a referral service to massagers, where massager (or customer) pays a referral fee to website" – taking out the reference to "independent contractor" and the implication of "subcontracting"? – user6726 Dec 26 '19 at 19:29
  • @user6726 I think that the answer gets a lot more complicated in that variant. The legal implications of referrals are much less uniform and more fact intensive legally than the implications of subcontracting. – ohwilleke Dec 26 '19 at 19:33
  • @user6726 ya, this is actually what i meant – abcjme Dec 26 '19 at 21:18
  • @ohwilleke * i super appreciate your informative response * however, i was conceptualizing a business that gets paid a referral fee by independent contractors and clients ? how would this change the legal requirements – abcjme Dec 27 '19 at 4:50
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    @adcjme Much, much harder to say because the facts matter more and the law is less uniform. Probably illegal somewhere. – ohwilleke Dec 28 '19 at 1:49

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