Canyon Country, CA asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Government Contracts and Gov & Administrative Law for California

Q: What kind of licenses are required to form a PMC (private military contracting) company?

I am dabbling with the idea of forming a PMC offering security services locally and for government contracts but while I'm well aware what the day to day takes, I am wondering what detailed licenses and paperwork I would need to get started forming a business in that direction to ensure I am following the law, especially considering the nature of the business, and also who I might need to hire to help with that process. Considering formation in CA but I am not opposed to another state if the regulations here are too crazy. again just to clarify I understand the normal business formation process, and who I'd need for that, I am just looking to know specific certifications, licenses etc.. that may apply to a PMC of this nature. Thanks.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Forming a Private Military Contracting (PMC) company involves several specific legal requirements beyond standard business formation procedures. Firstly, you need to obtain a business license in the state where you plan to operate. In California, this would involve registering with the California Secretary of State and possibly obtaining local business licenses depending on the specific locations of your operations.

Since PMCs often deal with defense and security services, federal regulations come into play. You'll need to comply with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), which govern the export and import of defense-related articles and services. This requires registration with the U.S. Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

For contracts with the U.S. government, you must register with the System for Award Management (SAM), which is a prerequisite for bidding on federal contracts. Additionally, adherence to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the Geneva Conventions may be necessary, depending on the nature of the contracts and operations.

Given the complexity of legal requirements in this field, hiring legal counsel experienced in military contracting and international law is advisable. They can help navigate the intricate regulations and ensure compliance with both state and federal laws. You might also consider consulting with a compliance expert to handle the specific licensing and regulatory aspects unique to PMCs.

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