What Licenses Do I Need to Start a Business?

Did you know that having your business license protects your business and also brings about more profit?

Owning a business in this 21st century is one of those most brilliant steps to take as the world now revolves around self-employment and liberty.

However, as a business owner or a potential one, it is very certain you’ll deal with employees and customers. A major step to take which brings about protection, privacy, even trust in your business, is to get a business license.

Why is it Important to get a Business License?

A business license is a registration or permit that is mandatory to start a business and is required by local governments, countries, states and the federal government.

It is a legitimate way of allowing individuals and companies to carry out business activities within a government’s geographical jurisdiction. You know what? The local government issues it.

However, you must apply for and get the required licenses and permits before you can do the things they let you do.

Therefore, if you’re a business owner or a potential one, securing your business license is a necessity, because there is this believability it brings with it.

More so, empowers you with the liberty to do whatever because you’re confident that the government is aware of your business.

What is a California Business License?

If you are engaged in business in California, you must get a seller’s permit. Intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.

How much does a Business License Cost?

The cost of your business license depends on several factors, like license type, your location, processing fees and recurring fees.

Therefore, the average business license costs somewhere between $50 and a few hundred dollars plus renewal fees.

Is an LLC the same as a Business License?

A business license is not the same as an LLC (limited liability company). An LLC is a legally recognized business entity while a business license gives you permission to engage in a specific type of business in a certain jurisdiction.

How do I get my Business License? Step-by-Step Guide

Over the years, Information Technology has really been advancing with different upgrades and constant improvements of devices such as the computer, mobile devices and so on.

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This has therefore changed and still changing the Technology world from where it was to where it is present.

Even in the business today, Information Technology has been useful in making Business calculations such as costing and profit calculating using spreadsheets, also in the advertisement, using computer graphics packages and so on.

  • Determine what business licensing you need
  • Compile the appropriate business documents for your application
  • Apply for the business license
  • Receive your business license
  • Keep up with license renewal requirements

What Licenses Do I Need to Start a Business?

Can a motorist set out for a journey without his/her driver’s license? No! Why? This is because it will expose such a driver to being caught up by the law and amongst other punishments. 

This is the reason being into commercial activities or a business without a license is very dangerous, unadvisable and even almost not possible.

Having a business license is of really great importance! The licenses and permits your business requires will depend on where you live and the type of industry you’re in.

This is because the permits and licenses you’ll need can vary so wildly from place to place, and between industries.

See the various licenses you can get

#1. General Business License

Generally, businesses require a general business license in order to operate a business in the city or county in which they are located.

#2. ‘Doing Business as’ License or Permit

If you’re running your business under a fictitious business name (also known as a DBA name), your state may require you to register your business name.

#3. Federal and State Tax Identification Number

Most businesses will have to apply for a federal EIN, or employer identification number, also known as a tax identification number.

Your state or local government might also require you to obtain a state tax identification number as well.

#4. Sales tax Permit

If your business sells goods, whether online or offline, and your state requires you to collect sales tax, it may require you to get a business permit usually known as a sales tax permit or a seller’s permit.

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#5. Zoning Permit

Local zoning regulations may regulate where certain types of businesses can and cannot operate. These regulations apply not just to businesses such as manufacturers and restaurants.

They can also affect the home business owner. You may have to apply for a variance or a conditional-use permit if it does not zone the area in which you wish to operate your business for your type of business.

#6 Home Occupation Permit

A home occupation permit applies to home-based businesses. If you plan on operating your business from within your home, check with your city or country to see if a home occupation permit will be required.

#7. Professional/ Occupational Licenses

Specific types of businesses or businesses in particular industries may require special professional or occupational licenses. The businesses or industries will vary from state to state.

For example, certain states may require child care businesses to get a special license. Professions such as lawyers and accountants are also often regulated and may require special professional licenses.

#8. Health Permits

Health permits. Certain businesses such as those which involve the preparation and handling of food may require health permits.

Fire department permits. Businesses which use flammable materials, are open to the public or involve several people assembling in one location may require a permit or an inspection by your local fire department.

#9. Environmental Permits

Many state and local governments require certain businesses to get special pollution control permits.

For example, if in the course of your business you’ll be engaged in an activity that results in the discharge of an environmental contaminant into the air or the water, you may have to get a special permit.

#10. Sign Permit

Some local authorities have regulations that require that businesses get a permit before putting up a sign. The regulations may also stipulate certain requirements such as the size of the sign and where the sign may be located.

#11. Building or Constructions Permit

If you will make any changes, particularly structural changes, to the place in which you will operate your business, you may need a building or construction permit from your local authorities.

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#12. Special State Licenses

Many states require certain businesses, such as restaurants and establishments which serve alcohol, to get special licenses.

Most times, these licenses show that the business in question has met specific state-regulated standards.

#13. Special Federal Licenses and Permits

A federal license or permit may be required if they associate your business in anything that is regulated by a Federal Agency.

Examples include the sale or manufacture of alcohol or firearms, commercial fishing and wildlife-related activities such as the import or export of wildlife.


How long are business licenses valid?

It depends on the type of license. Some licenses are good for the life of the business while someone must renew them annually others or every two years. However, laws can change frequently so businesses must stay abreast of changes that affect the term of their license.

How long does the process take to get the proper business license?

The time to get the proper license partially depends on the licensing jurisdiction. Some agents streamline the process for businesses so that your application is filed faster and is properly completed. Many licensing jurisdictions will completely reject an application with any errors or missing supporting documents.

Can a business have multiple licenses?

Some locations allow you to run multiple businesses off the same license, while others require additional licenses for any new business. Sometimes, the type of business you want to add to an existing license determines whether you require a second one.

Do I need a fire alarm permit or a burglar alarm permit for my business?

Many local jurisdictions require business owners to apply for and secure a fire alarm permit if they will operate in a commercial location. The fire alarm permit allows local inspectors to ensure that the fire prevention system is appropriately installed and in working order.

Final Thoughts

I hope these pieces of information which this article entails will help fasten your decision to obtain a license for your business.
Thank you for reading!


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