Do I Need a Business License?

What business licenses and permits does your business need?
What business licenses and permits does your business need?
“Do I need a business license?” is one of the most common questions we receive in our business incorporation department.

New entrepreneurs understand that they do need a business license of some kind—but some might not be clear on the fact that the term “business license” refers not to a specific document, but to any number of business licenses and permits that may be required. And it’s up to the entrepreneur, not the government, to determine what those requirements are.

What factors are involved in my business license requirements?

While each jurisdiction is different, there are a few factors you can use to determine if you need a business license:

  • The structure of your business (DBA, C corporation, S corporation, etc.)
  • The industry or purpose of your business (nursing, real estate, construction, etc.)
  • Whether or not you’re engaged in sales
  • The requirements of  your state, county, and city/town

If you have a corporation or LLC, you formed that business with your Secretary of State; however, it’s still important to check with your county and local jurisdictions to determine whether they have unique requirements outside of your state licensing and registration.

What kinds of business licenses and permits should I be aware of?

If you're in real estate, you may need a special real estate business license.
If you’re in real estate, you may need a special real estate business license.
Terminology differs from state to state, and there are many industry-specific licenses. Here are a few common examples:

  • Alcohol and tobacco permit
  • Alcohol wholesaler’s license
  • Architectural license
  • Cosmetology license
  • Real estate license
  • Sales permit
  • Tattoo and body art license

This is just a small sampling of the licenses and permits you could be required to obtain. And if you’re engaging in any federally-regulated activities, you may need a special federal permit to do so.

What’s the easiest way to get my required business license?

You could certainly track down each level of government to ask them their requirements, or you could hire a corporate attorney to figure out what you need—but the simplest, quickest way to determine your requirements is through Click&Inc’s no-hassle business license service package. We partner with the esteemed CSC Global to bring you a customized, comprehensive list of your license and permit requirements based on your location, purpose, and entity type so that you can be certain you’re operating in full compliance!

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