Business Licenses: The Overlooked Compliance Requirement

You know that to legally form a business you must first file formation documents with your state or county—but this is only the beginning. Regardless of your entity type, business licenses and permits are necessary in almost every state, county, and municipality before you can legally transact business there; any business, from a sole proprietor to a corporation or LLC, is subject to the requirements of their jurisdiction.

Which Business Licenses Do I Need?

That's not an easy question to answer, because your business license requirements depend on:

  • the structure of your business (whether it's a corporation, LLC, DBA, and so on)
  • your industry (a bar will have very different license and permit requirements than a warehouse, which will have different requirements than a hospital)
  • your local laws (licenses may be required by your state, county, or city levels of government)
  • any specific special requirements of any additional government agencies you may be doing business with due to your specific circumstance

At each of these levels, the business licenses and permits you may be required to hold could range widely. Some common examples of various license types are:

  • Alcohol and Drug Counselor license
  • Insurance Agency license
  • Sales permit
  • Contractors license
  • Real estate license
  • Pharmacy license
  • Salon or Cosmetology license

How Do I Know Which Types of Licenses My Business Needs?

There are a few ways you can figure this out, some more time-consuming than others. You can:

  • call your state, county, and local governments and determine your requirements. Start with the Secretary of State's office, then try your County Clerk or County Circuit Court, and then try the Town or City Clerk. If these aren't the departments that can help you, they can probably point you toward the ones that can.
  • hire a corporate attorney to help you figure it out. These folks will review your information and dig through the rules and regulations for you so that you can get all of your filings in order and stay in compliant.
  • let Click and Inc take care of this for you.