Yellowstone Reviewed: What Your LLC Needs to Know about Doing Business in Nature’s Capital and Other Unique Places

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Yellowstone National Park

Doing business in national parks such as the Nature’s Capital Yellowstone National Park is possible if you obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). As per Section 418 of Public Law 105-391 the CUA can be issued to any individual, corporation or any other entity that can offer commercial services to park area visitors. Nevertheless the commercial activity has to be permitted by the NPS or National Park Service.

The commercial services that are considered suitable in national parks are those that are consistent with the purpose of establishment of the park area and comply with all the applicable policies, regulations and plans of the park area management. They should have minimal impact on the resources and values of the park area. Before applying for a CUA it is important that you understand all the conditions you need to comply with.

CUAs are generally issued for a time period of one year that starts from January 1 and ends on December 31st of that year. The application period stands open from October 1st to March 1st.  For each service category you will have to pay an application fee of $300 which is non-refundable.

There is something called market rate fee that you have to pay the park on the January 1st of every year while submitting your year-end financial statement. This fee is calculated based on a percentage of your gross receipts (the total of all revenues that you have received from providing services at the Yellowstone national park). The initial $300 application fee that you pay will usually be credited towards this market rate fee.

As a CUA holder, you will have to maintain your accounting records with proper evidence of gross receipts and fee payments. These financial reports may be audited by the national park service at any time. You have to submit your annual financial reports along with the fees on January 31st of every year. Apart from this, you will also have to submit what is known as monthly use reports on or before the 4th of every month. This report will include the number of visitors you have served and the number of trips you have taken, apart from details about where such trips took place.

Insurance is one thing that is mandatory for every CUA holder in the Yellowstone National Park. You need to have comprehensive general liability coverage of minimum $500,000, per occurrence. Apart from this you need to have commercial automobile liability coverage for all the vehicles that you use or drive within the park, irrespective of whether they are owned or hired. The policy will have to be underwritten by a company belonging to the United States, with USA as the additional insured.

The issuance of CUA takes a minimum of 30 days. You should be able to receive it anywhere between December 1st and April 1st depending on when you submitted your application. There may be delays if there are any inaccuracies in the application materials or if the documentation is not complete.

If you are looking out to secure alternative funding for your business to start your commercial operations in the National park you can get in touch with the experts at Yellowstone Capital LLC. They will make sure you get your funds within the shortest span of time.

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