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Business Licenses and Permits

Business Start Up Guides

Business Licenses and Permits

Every business needs one or more federal, state or local licenses or permits to operate. Licenses can range from a basic operating license to very specific permits, (e.g., environmental permits).

Regulations vary by industry, state and locality, so it's very important to understand the licensing rules where your business is located. Not complying with licensing and permitting regulations can lead to expensive fines and put your business at serious risk.

How to Get Licenses and Permits

This tool allows you to get a listing of federal, state and local permits, licenses, and registrations you?ll need to run a business document.

Federal Licenses and Permits

If your business is involved in activities supervised and regulated by a federal agency, you may need to obtain a federal license.

State Licenses and Permits

Many types of businesses need to obtain some type of business or professional/occupational license or permit from a state government. Choose a state to find out about specific license and permit requirements in the state where your business is located.

Tips for Maintaining Your Business License

  • When signing up for a license, permit or registration, keep track of those that need to be renewed on a regular basis and keep a calendar of renewal dates.
  • Maintain a copy of all licensing applications and forms in your business records.
  • Make sure you follow rules for displaying your licenses or permits. Most states and localities require business to prominently display their business licenses so customers can see them.
  • If you are thinking of expanding your business, whether it be expanding your building or launching a new product or service, you may need additional business licenses.

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