Do you need a business license?
Starting a business is a busy and exciting time. There are a lot of details to attend to, so it’s important to stay on top of everything you have to do. One thing you might not have asked yourself yet is, “Do I need a business license?” It depends on what type of business you have and where it’s located, but in many cases, the answer is yes.
Here are some of the licenses a new business might need.
If the business you are in is regulated by a federal agency, you will need a federal license. Examples of these kinds of businesses include those that deal in alcohol, agriculture, firearms, fish and wildlife, mining, nuclear energy, broadcasting, and more. The Small Business Administration has a complete list of industries that require a federal license.
States regulate more kinds of businesses than the federal government does, and the requirements, as you might expect, vary by state. You’ll need to do some research to determine whether you need a license to operate your business in your state. Your state’s website should have links to resources for businesses, with information on the kinds of licenses you need to operate a business in that state.
Your business may also require a license from the county, city, or town where it’s located. Check with the municipal office to see which licenses you need.
Some industries require a specific license, which may have educational requirements associated with it. Some of the professions that require a license include:
In general, if you have to have specific education or training in order to work in a given industry, it’s likely that you need a license to operate a business in that industry. You may also need to take courses on a regular basis in order to maintain your professional license.
Licensing requirements typically have little to do with whether your business is brick and mortar, home based, or online. But if you operate your business out of your home you may be subject to homeowners’ association restrictions. In some cases, you may be required to obtain a permit to comply with zoning ordinances. Check with the association to see what their requirements are.
Obtaining the proper licenses is one way to make sure your business is protected. Another way is with business insurance. Learn more about how insurance can protect you from the risks you can’t see coming.