Obtaining Your Business License

Yes, likely, you will also need a business license to run your business legally in your city or county. But you might still be wondering what types of business licenses you really need and which licenses are just unnecessary to get started. In this article, we’ll show you all the various types of business licenses you might need to open your own business and explain which ones you might not necessarily need to begin your business at all. Just to fill you in on some of the basics before we begin.

Business license. There are quite a few different business licenses that you might need depending on the size and type of your business. In general, business licenses are required if you want to legally operate a place of business in your city or county. To obtain your business license, you’ll need to file a government form called a business license with your city or county. Typically, most cities and counties require that you first apply for a business license before you can legally operate a place of business; after you apply, the government will review your application to make sure that you meet their requirements before granting you a business license. Even though it isn’t a legal requirement, it is often one of the most important forms of permits that you must get in order to legally operate a business in your community.

Business permits. There are also a few different types of business permits that are required to legally operate a business in some areas. Generally, these permits are called local business operating licenses. You will need one to open a day spa, beauty shop, or other types of health spa. You’ll also need it to legally operate a pool cleaning company, pool service, dog grooming service, or kennel or boarding kennel in your local area. If you run a day care center, you’ll also need a day care workers’ license.

Environmental permits. In addition to business licenses, there are several other permits that are required in most communities. Typically, these include licenses to post signs, obtain utility services, install fixtures, and obtain construction materials. In many states, including the United States, it is actually illegal to operate any business without a permit. So you’ll need an environmental permit if you want to install a solar panel or water heater on your property.

Utility bills. In many areas, homeowners are responsible for maintaining their own electricity use. Therefore, if you operate a customer-sited service station, you’ll probably have to pay your own utility bills. In most cities and counties, your city hall or county hall will be able to direct you to the local governments, which require licenses to provide these services. These licenses might also be required if you want to allow non-residents to use your facilities.

Cargo shipping. If you run a cargo shipping company, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in addition to other types of licenses related to commerce. Many cities and counties require CDLs for cargo shipping companies, and some might even have an annual limit. The CDL costs a little more money than the normal driver’s license, but it could save you jail time if you have a previous criminal history.

Liquor stores. Some cities, such capitol of testing, require licenses to sell liquor. Most cities do not, however, have a blanket liquor license which means that liquor store operators can choose to be self-licensed or operate a licensed business under their own name. Many times thanks to the economic recession, liquor store operators have been forced to operate either non-profitable businesses or close altogether.

Business cards. Many cities will only allow business cards as identification for employment purposes. You might need a business license if you want to rent office space, buy a business insurance policy or open up a bank account. A city might even require you to get a license if you want to operate a photography studio. While city hall might not be a good place to start if you don’t know what you’re doing, your local government offices can usually be very helpful in situations where you do not understand local regulations.