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I formed a legal entity to facilitate my estate planning and to avoid having my children burdened with taxes. Clearly, there is no business purpose for this - does the City believe it still needs a license?

Yes. The reason for the formation of a legal business entity cannot play a role in determining whether it requires a business license. Many estate planning web sites that advocate the use of legal entities state clearly that there is nothing that distinguishes a legal entity set up for estate planning from one that is set up to operate a business interest. In fact, due to IRS regulations, these sites state there must be a clear business purpose for these entities. In other words, there is nothing that legally distinguishes a family limited partnership (FLP) from any other type of partnership. As a result, the City must treat these estate planning entities in the same manner as any other type of legal business entity.