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How to Get a Business License in All 50 States

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    Remember when you first got your driver's license? The first thing you wanted to do was go for a drive, right? If your business just became official, you're probably experiencing a similar feeling. There are so many possibilities and so little time!

    But before you kick things into high gear, you'll need to tap the brakes and consider some more red tape, this time in the form of a business license. Ahead, we've laid out everything you need to learn how to get a business license in your state. So buckle up because you and your business will soon be able to hit the road.

    Without the Right Licenses, Your Business Credibility is at Stake.

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    Use this drop-down menu to select your state and get the info fast, or download our PDF for information for all 50 states:



    Varies by county and business type; see the Alabama Department of Revenue's business licensing FAQs for more information


    A business privilege license is required for all people and organizations doing business in Alabama

    How to File

    Contact your city or county government; see the state's business licensing guidelines

    Do I Need a Business License If I Have an LLC?

    When you form an LLC, you're required to follow the appropriate legal avenues to do so — typically, that means filing some forms with your Secretary of State.

    However, getting your LLC filed with the state doesn't necessarily mean that you're free to start doing business. Depending on the state you're operating in and the type of business you have, you may also be required to obtain one (or more!) licenses or permits.

    To complicate things further, most states don't have a statewide business license. Instead, they focus on more specific types of permits and leave general business licenses up to city and county governments.

    You may need to contact your state government to obtain a…

    • Sales and use tax license, also known as a seller's permit
    • Business tax account, which ensures your business taxes are separate from your personal ones
    • Business registration certificate, which proves you've registered your business with the state
    • Certificate of Authority, which is another way of proving you've registered your business
    • Industry-specific license or permit, such as a contractor's license

    On top of that, your city and county governments may have their own special licensing requirements, too. For instance, many food establishments are required to be licensed with their county's health department.

    Suffice it to say that once you have an LLC, you may still be subject to additional licensing requirements.

    How Much Does a Business License Cost in the USA?

    The unfortunate answer is that there is no set amount. After all, each state, county and municipality has its own licensing requirements and protocols, so that means they each have their own fees too.

    Case in point, most states charge $0 for a seller's permit, but some charge as much as $100. Similarly, the same state may charge vastly different amounts for different types of occupational licenses.

    In other words, whether you're in California, Texas, Florida or any other state in between, the fees your state and local governments charge for a business license will vary, sometimes even from town to town.

    How to Get a Business License in Texas

    Looking to get a business license in the Lone Star State? You can find all the details in the drop-down menu above. The bottom line is that Texas doesn't have a general business license requirement, but some businesses may need other permits or licenses depending on a variety of factors.

    To determine whether your business needs to obtain additional permits or licenses in the state of Texas, read up on the information provided by the Business Permit Office.

    How to Get a Business License in California

    Entrepreneurs who want to get a business license in California should know that while there's no statewide license needed, any businesses that sell tangible goods are required to obtain a seller's permit.

    And since California is the most heavily regulated state in the country, it's a good idea to check if your business needs any other types of permits or licenses. Luckily, the state's CalGold Business Permit System makes it relatively easy to do so.

    How to Get a Business License in Florida

    Like most other states, Florida doesn't require all businesses to have a general business license. However, businesses in many industries do need to obtain more specific licenses and permits.

    To see if you need a license to operate your business in the Sunshine State, check with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and/or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS). If neither of those agencies is relevant to your business, use the state agency directory to find one that is.

    How to Get a Business License in Georgia

    Some of the business licenses in Georgia include sales and use tax registration, brewery and winery licenses, special event licenses, tobacco licenses, limousine licenses and more. You can get a rundown of the requirements and fees on the Georgia Department of Revenue site.

    How to Get a Business License in North Carolina

    Getting a general business license in North Carolina isn't required, but you could need state or local licenses, depending on where you're operating. Check out the North Carolina Secretary of State to see all 700 state-issued and occupational licenses you might need.

    Getting a Business License Takes Time, But the Result Is More Than Worth It

    There's no denying it: Figuring out what type of business license you need, filling out the appropriate paperwork and identifying any additional required permits takes time and research. But once you do, you'll get the ultimate reward — the ability to legally operate your own business.

    And if you don't feel like putting in hours of research to find out which licenses and permits you need and how to get them, Bizee's Business License Research Package can help. For just $99, we'll take the guesswork out of obtaining your business license so you can get your business up and running faster.

    Without the Right Licenses, Your Business Credibility is at Stake.

    Order Your Package Today
    Carrie Buchholz Powers

    Carrie Buchholz-Powers

    Carrie Buchholz-Powers is a Colorado-based writer who’s been creating content since 2013. From digital marketing to ecommerce to land conservation, she has experience in a wide range of fields and loves learning about them all. Carrie is fond of history, animals and beauty in equal measure. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, playing video games and exploring Colorado's prairies and mountains with her husband.


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