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Obtain Business Licenses & Permits | The U.S. Small ... - SBA.gov

To run your business legally, there are certain federal and state licenses and permits you will need to obtain. These resources will help you understand the ...

WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: Business and professional ...

How to get or renew a license in Washington, see if a business or professional is licensed, file a complaint, and file or search UCC records.

Business license - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Business licenses are permits issued by government agencies that allow individuals or companies to conduct business within the government's geographical ...

Free Business Course 2 - How to Get a Business License

This session reinforces the need for a business license and various permits are required for starting a business.

How to Obtain a Business License: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

How to Obtain a Business License. Your business needs to be licensed to legally operate. Regulations vary, so it's very important to understand the licensing ...

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City of Chicago :: Business Licenses

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) issues business licenses in the City of Chicago and regulates industries as diverse as ...

Business Licenses, Permits and Regulation - MyFlorida.com

Business Regulation (8), Professional Regulation, Education and Testing Services (29) ... Online Licensing and License Search, Business Regulation. Alcoholic ...

Los Angeles County-Business-Permits & Licenses

The government requires businesses to obtain permits and licenses to conduct their operations, but the requirement varies dependent on the location of the ...

Business Licenses and Permits | Entrepreneur.com

A guide on how to obtain business licenses and permits.

Business Licensing Guide - Arizona Department of Revenue

Where do I get an Arizona business license to operate my business? In Arizona, not all businesses are required to have a license and some businesses are ...

Maine.gov - Business: Licensing

General licenses to operate a business are managed at the town/city level in Maine. Contact your town office for information. To obtain contact information for ...

Business License - Home Page - Clark County Nevada

Jacqueline R. Holloway, Director. Business License Highlights New Proposed Amendment - Newsrack Ordinance The Clark County Department of Public Works ...

Obtaining Proper Licenses and Permits


Most small business owners strike out on their own hoping to answer only to themselves. Many, however, fail to remember that they have to answer to someone else, too: their government. Before you open for business, you must get the green light from your local, state and federal governments. The necessary licenses and permits won't just get you the go-ahead, though; they'll also help you:
  1. Legally identify your business.
  2. Protect public health and safety.
  3. Keep track of your finances for tax purposes.
  4. Protect your business from legal claims against it.

Apply for an EIN

If you plan to hire employees to help run your business, you'll need to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you need an EIN; if you do, apply for one online with IRS Form SS-4.

Purchase a business license

A business operation license from your city or county is the fundamental document required of all businesses in all jurisdictions.
state officeBusiness.gov has a handy "Permit Me" tool to find state permits for many types of businesses.

Register your business name

If you plan to do business under a name other than your own, you must register your company name — called a DBA (Doing Business As), or fictitious business name — with your county government.

Research local regulations

Town, city and county governments, in cooperation with your local fire, police and public works departments, may require permits to show compliance with safety, environmental and health concerns, as well as building and zoning requirements.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which should be versed in city and county regulations.

Get your state occupational license

You'll need a professional license issued by your state if your business provides state-regulated services, which generally include medical care, auto repair, real estate sales, tax services, insurance sales, legal counsel or cosmetology services.

Register for a seller's permit

A seller's permit, available from your state's board of equalization, allows you to purchase wholesale merchandise for resale in your own store.
department of revenue.

Obtain federal licenses for your regulated business

Small businesses that need a federal license or permit include those that provide investment advising, manufacture drugs or alcohol, prepare meat, deliver ground transportation or sell firearms.
Business.gov has a list of federally regulated industries, with links to relevant licensing agencies.
  • Licensing requirements vary considerably between cities and states, and between industries, as well. Contact your local chamber of commerce to learn about regulations in your area.
  • Beware of "grandfathering," whereby a businesses already operating when a new law is passed is exempt from that law; you may need a license or permit, even though your neighbor does not.
  • If you plan on selling liquor, lottery tickets, firearms or gasoline, you'll need a special state-issued license to do so.