How To Get a Business License in 3 Simple Steps (2022)

A long disturbance list can be intimidating when starting a newfangled business. There are indeed many things you need to take care of to get up and running. And while many of these steps may be long-winded, they can have a significant impingement on your business—and your ability to stay in business.

In some areas, you ’ re required to have a business license to operate legally. But that ’ s not always the encase. In this post, we take a look at how to know if you need a business license and what you need to do to get one to make sure your following venture is wholly legit .
This stake is for data only. Requirements are updated frequently and you should make certain to do your own inquiry and reach knocked out to a restricted legal adviser, if needed. Businesses outside of the United States will have different steps and requirements .

Where to get a business license

When you register your business and obtain the necessary licenses and permits, there are multiple jurisdictions to consider : union, state of matter, and even local .
merely certain industries need a federal business license. Those licenses are issued by unlike federal agencies :

  • Radio and television broadcasting: Federal Communications Commission
  • Transportation and logistics: US Department of Transportation
  • Alcohol: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and Local Alcohol Beverage Control Board
  • Agriculture: US Department of Agriculture
  • Aviation: Federal Aviation Administration
  • Firearms, ammunition, and explosives: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • Fish and wildlife: US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Commercial fisheries: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service
  • Maritime transportation: Federal Maritime Commission
  • Mining and drilling: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Nuclear energy: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

On a state and local tied, the procedure is unlike for each legal power. by and large speaking, you ’ ll motivation to gather your business and personal information, fill out required forms, and pay associated fees. It ’ mho constantly best to check immediately with your local anesthetic agencies .

What you need to get a business license

The federal government only requires a occupation license for businesses operating in certain industries. All industries and clientele types, however, can get a federal tax ID, or Employer Identification Number ( EIN ), for free on-line at .
To get your submit business license, you need the play along :

  • Owner name and contact information
  • Business name and contact information
  • EIN
  • Any required permits
  • Any required forms or paperwork
  • Associated fees (outlined below)

Each department of state has its own procedure and requirements for business licenses, and it varies greatly. It ’ south always best to check immediately with your local jurisdictions to determine what you need to get your business license .

How to get a business license

To obtain a business license, you ’ ll want to register with several local, state, and federal regulative agencies .

1. File for an EIN

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You ‘ll beginning want to file for your EIN to make the serve easy. This besides creates a distinct separation between your clientele and yourself as an owner .

2. Acquire a federal business license

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Businesses operating in certain industries must acquire a union commercial enterprise license, adenine well as any required by their local jurisdictions. Businesses in qualifying industries need to contact a corresponding union agency .

3. Inquire into local licenses

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once you have your federal license squared away, check with your state and municipality to find out the steps to take for your submit license. While each location has its own process and requirements, the general march involves gathering your personal and occupation information, paying any fees, filling out any forms, acquiring permits, and submitting it all to the necessity parties .
See our state specific guides for California LLC, Texas LLC and Florida LLC .

How much is a business license?

There are no fees if you don ’ t need a union business license. If you do, fees vary by industry and are paid to the issuing federal agency. State license and license fees can range from free to angstrom much as $ 5,000. Costs vary by state and commercial enterprise natural process .


Alabama requires three separate occupation licenses, each of which are non-refundable ( except in the encase of duplicates ) :
In Madison County, a clientele license costs anywhere from $ 37 to $ 77, while Mobile County businesses pay $ 130 for their first year and 50 % of that each year after .
recently renewals accrue a 15 % penalty plus interest. You can besides transfer business licenses for a $ 1 fee .


A occupation license in Alaska is $ 50/year for new and renewal licenses. Licenses run out on December 31 each year, except in the font of licenses issued after October 1. A license issued after October 1 will be valid for the remainder of the class vitamin a well as the following calendar year .


In Arizona, sellers must get a transaction privilege tax ( TPT ) and business license through the state ’ s License Compliance Program. TPT license fees vary per placement legal power, ranging from $ 1 to $ 50 per annum .


In Arkansas, fees range from $ 50 to $ 1,000 per year, depending on the type of business. While not all businesses require a department of state license, there may be extra local requirements—check out Alaska ’ s Small Business Development Center for more information .


California doesn ’ thymine require all businesses to have a license at the state degree, but certain counties and cities do. Some industries are state regulated and require a license from a corresponding board or division. Check the CalGold let aid tool to find specific license requirements and fees .


only certain businesses in Colorado require a license—the price of a license for state-regulated businesses varies by diligence. There may be extra license requirements depending on where the business is located, so check with your local municipality .
A business license in Aurora, for case, is valid for two years and costs $ 26 plus a $ 17 application fee. In Fort Collins, any entrepreneurial or home-based business must besides register as a home business, which costs $ 25 and is valid for two years .


In Connecticut, fees are based on the character of business. charitable solicitations, for example, don ’ t need to pay an initial license fee. other types of businesses do—fees range from $ 10 to $ 5,000 .


In Delaware, a business license costs $ 75 for the inaugural year. A 75 % discount is available to business owners who are 65 years of age or older and meet other eligibility requirements .


business inauguration costs for Florida merchants range from $ 87.50 to equitable over $ 1,000, depending on your commercial enterprise type. Florida doesn ’ t have the same business license requirements and processes as many other states, but it does require a seller ’ s license or sales-and-use tax allow .


Georgia charges a non-refundable “ investigation fee ” of $ 100. extra license fees apply to certain types of businesses. Breweries, distilleries, and wineries, for case, need to pay an extra $ 1,000. Retailers and wholesalers may besides be required to pay extra fees, ranging from $ 50 to $ 1,000 .


Hawaii requires merchants to get a General Excise Tax ( GET ) license to operate their businesses. This license has a erstwhile $ 20 tip .


Idaho doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have a state-wide occupation license. Some, but not all, jurisdictions require their own local business license. limit information is available on-line .


Illinois doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate issue a general state business license, but certain regulate professions do require a master license for operation. There may be a local anesthetic city or county license necessity, depending on the location of business. In Chicago, extra fees for specific industries may besides apply. Pop-up shops, for example, pay $ 25 for five days, $ 50 for 50 days, and other tiered pricing up to $ 125 for a year. Businesses can check with their local municipality or Small Business Development Center for more data .


Indiana requires businesses submit a Form BT-1 application for taxes—one for each business placement. retail shops must pay a non-refundable $ 25 tip for their retail Merchants Certificate .


Iowa occupation license requirements vary based on whether the commercial enterprise is regulated by an Iowa authority or licensing control panel. Most retail businesses need a sales tax license. Registering a trade wind name in Iowa normally costs under $ 10. Businesses need to check with their Regional Small Business Development Centers for foster aid and information .


Kansas-based businesses don ’ t need to pay a general business license fee to the state. alternatively, licensing and fees are handled at the county and city levels .


Kentucky doesn ’ t have a statewide business license prerequisite. Certain types of businesses need one or more particular permits or licenses .


Louisiana besides doesn ’ t have a statewide occupation license prerequisite. however, many cities have their own license requirements and fees. New Orleans, for example, bases fees on the crude sales of particular types of businesses .


General business licenses are managed at the city/town level in Maine. In Portland, there ’ s a $ 45 business license application fee, and renewals cost $ 35 for the year. You can go to the license center on Maine ’ randomness Business Answers web site for requirements and fees for each city .


Maryland doesn ’ triiodothyronine require a cosmopolitan business license. however, there are licensing and let requirements depending on the character of occupation. If you use a warehouse to store inventory, for exercise, a storage warehouse license will cost $ 30– $ 150 each year, depending on the population size of the local municipality.


In Massachusetts, license and permits are based on the type of diligence .


business license in Michigan is heavily based on the type of business. license fees vary widely .


Minnesota charges an initial file fee ranging from $ 30 to $ 200 if done by mail ( $ 50 to $ 220 if done in person or on-line ). There ’ second no annual refilling tip. Some cities and counties may have extra licenses and fees .


Mississippi has a $ 50 initial filing fee, plus a $ 25 annual composition fee, however, there ’ s no official state-issued business license .


Filing fees in Missouri are based on the amount of authoritative das kapital a business has. Costs range from $ 58 to $ 143 .


The state of Montana doesn ’ t require a general license, although some industries must file for a license with the Department of Revenue. Most cities and counties have their own rules regarding business licenses. Bozeman, for exercise, requires all businesses to be licensed, and the lotion fee is $ 25 ( $ 150 for medical marijuana businesses ). business owners can check with their local county for specific license requirements .


There international relations and security network ’ thymine a general license requirement in Nebraska, but sealed businesses may have to file a license with the express. certain cities require their own license, thus clientele owners should reach out to their local government for specific local requirements .


Nevada requires that all businesses have a State Business License that must be renewed per annum. The reclamation fee is $ 500 for corporations and $ 200 for all other business types. The fee and imprint are ascribable on the stopping point day of the anniversary month that the business license was in the first place filed. additionally, Nevada requires that businesses obtain a local license with the city/county in which they operate .

New Hampshire

New Hampshire doesn ’ triiodothyronine want businesses to have a general clientele license to operate. however, license requirements vary based on diligence type .

New Jersey

All businesses must register for a business license in New Jersey. For-profit businesses and foreign non-profit corporations have to pay $ 125, while domestic non-profit corporations owe a discount fee of $ 75 .

New Mexico

New Mexico doesn ’ triiodothyronine have statewide clientele license stipulations. however, license may vary between cities. For exemplar, Taos requires a $ 35 registration fee .

New York

While businesses don ’ t have to pay for a state of matter license with New York, many have to get a license at the local degree. In New York City, you must file a Business Certificate ( besides called a Certificate of Assumed Name ) shape at the county salesclerk ’ second office, with fees ranging from $ 100 to $ 120 .

North Carolina

In North Carolina, it costs $ 125 to file the Articles of Incorporation and $ 30 to reserve a bodied list. other fees may besides apply .

North Dakota

North Dakota doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate return state business licenses. however, some businesses may need to register based on their industry, with fees ranging from $ 0 to $ 5,000 .


Ohio doesn ’ t have general business license requirements but it does require any person or business who is making retail sales with “ real personal property or taxable services ” to register for a seller ’ south license, which costs $ 25. extra licenses and fees may besides apply .


Oklahoma doesn ’ t require a state-issued clientele license. There are extra license requirements for some industries .


Like Oklahoma, there ’ s no state clientele license in Oregon, though some industries need to abide by extra parameters. Some cities and counties besides require a license .


Businesses in Pennsylvania must pay $ 125 to file their Articles of internalization with the state. There ’ second besides a $ 70 annual report card fee .

Rhode Island

initial file fees in Rhode Island range from $ 150 to $ 230 depending on the business structure. There ’ randomness besides an annual $ 50 report card tip ( $ 60 for benefit corporations ) and an annual $ 400 tax tip .

South Carolina

South Carolina doesn ’ thymine have a statewide occupation license. Licenses, permits, and regulations are all administered at the local anesthetic level .

South Dakota

South Dakota doesn ’ t have a cosmopolitan business license fee, however, some businesses will need registrations/permits based on the industry .


In Texas, businesses have to register to pay tax. All new businesses must register and pay a $ 15 fee. In-state businesses need either a minimal activity license ( if you gross more than $ 3,000 but less than $ 10,000 ) or a standard commercial enterprise license ( if you crying more than $ 10,000 ) .


Texas doesn ’ t have any general clientele license requirements or fees .


Utah requires all businesses to obtain a license from their local municipality, each with its own requirements .


Vermont charges a erstwhile fee of $ 125 for filing Articles of Incorporation. Businesses besides pay an annual report tip of $ 45 .


Businesses in Virginia can register with Business One Stop for $ 20 .


Most businesses in Washington need to register for a business license. Processing fees range from $ 0 to $ 90 .

West Virginia

West Virginia doesn ’ thyroxine have a general business license. Terms and requirements deviate by commercial enterprise entity .


Wisconsin doesn ’ metric ton require a statewide business license. You ’ ll need to register with the country to ensure you ’ re properly collecting and paying sales tax .


Wyoming doesn ’ thyroxine have a state-issued clientele license but requires businesses pay an annual $ 25 registration fee .

Make your business legit

Registering your commercial enterprise and getting the necessity licenses and permits is imperative to long-run achiever. once you have those long-winded steps out of the way, you can get back to the fun parts of launch and growing your commercial enterprise .

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Business license FAQ

How long does it take to get a business license?

It can take anywhere from one business day to several months to get a commercial enterprise license, depending on your needs. More complex license and heavily regulated industries have longer delay times .

Who needs a business license?

not every business needs a business license. Businesses in regulate industries like food and beverage, CBD, health and health, or personal services much need excess business licenses and permits.

How to get a retail business license?

You can get a retail commercial enterprise license by following the steps outlined in this post. The process is different for each type of occupation and geographic location .

How hard is it to get a business license?

It is not very hard to get a business license. You plainly need your business information, required paperwork and applications, and necessary fees. The serve varies depending on localization, diligence, and license agency .
This post is for information only. Requirements are updated frequently and you should make sure to do your own research and reach out to a dependent legal and tax adviser, if needed. Businesses outside of the United States will have different steps and requirements .

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