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Activity license and opening license

Licenses and permissions: When you open a business in the United States you need to obtain certain licenses and permissions that are mandatory, but do you know exactly what each of these requirements are?

You’ll read it below to understand the importance of staying within the law of the jurisdiction where you conduct your business.

What is the Activity License? (Activity license)

Among the Licenses and permissions, the activity license is the one you need when you are developing any company regardless of its structure, as you can be a professional who therefore develop your profession, you can establish a structure for your company as a limited liability company or simply as a sole proprietorship.

In fact, any of these structures imply that you provide services or sell products either in a physical location or on the Internet and therefore you must obtain it.

For example, in the case of activities involving scientific research, education, aquaculture, the use of gears for research purposes, the use of marine chemicals, the use of dredges to collect marine organisms and the release of marine organisms, require a license issued by the Special Marine Activity Licensing Program or SALP.

Keep in mind that if you think to open a business online you must manage in the same way as if you were establishing a physical business, because all the requirements will be the same.

On the other hand, you must comply with the state licensing requirements of the state where you based your web business regardless of whether you sell to customers in other states.

Similarly, if you establish your home business, you must also meet all the requirements that apply to an online business or a business with a physical location outside your home.

The annual activity license is required for a business whose gross income during the fiscal year is between $3,000 and $10000.

Therefore, if your company does not reach $3000 gross annual gross income, you can obtain the minimum activity license by paying the corresponding fee even if it is not necessary

However, depending on each state, such as Tennessee, it takes into account the payment of taxes on activities depending on which state is the main one.

Its code defines the main activity as the main source of income, which means that a company pays business taxes according to the source of profit.

In general you will need the license if as a company you obtain profits even if you are a real estate investor with one or more properties, because you qualify as a business.

How to obtain the Openning License

Between Licenses and permits, when you open a business you must obtain the opening license, because it is the only way for your business to start operating legally.

Federal license

A federal license is required for companies that sell firearms or alcohol, because if you are selling firearms or alcohol, you will need a federal permit or license.

However, each state has specific requirements for companies to comply with, so you should find out in your state what they are before opening your business.

For example, if your business involves activities regulated by a federal agency such as commercial fishing, the sale of alcoholic beverages or firearms among other items, you may need a federal permit.

USD: USD is the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the agency responsible for granting you permission in the event that your business involves importing or transporting animals, animal products, biological products or biotechnology products across state borders.

Alcoholic beverages:

If your business is engaged in the manufacture, wholesale, import or retail sale of alcoholic beverages at a point of sale, you must register your business and obtain federal tax and alcohol tax permits from the Office of Commerce.

If you are starting your business, you will get information on the official TTB website, because on the site you will find all the tools to follow an easy process.

You will also need to contact your local Alcohol Beverage Control Board to obtain an alcohol business permit.


In the event that your business is engaged in aircraft operations, the transport of goods or persons by air or aircraft maintenance, you must apply for at least one or more of the following certificates:

The aircraft mechanic license, pilot license with training requirements and FFAA licenses and certificates.


If your company processes, manufactures or imports firearms, ammunition and explosives, it must comply with the licensing requirements of the Arms Control Act, which is administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


If your company engages in any wildlife-related activities including importing and exhorting wildlife derivatives, you must obtain permission from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Commercial fishing:

If you open a commercial fishing company, you must obtain a fishing license from Fisheries Service.

Maritime transport:

If your company provides sea freight or facilitates the shipment of cargo by sea, you must obtain a license from the Federal Maritime Commission.

Mining and drilling:

If your business is involved in drilling for oil, natural gas or other natural resources on federal lands you may need a drilling permit issued by the Office of Safety and Environmental Control.

Radio and Television:

If your business broadcasts information on television, radio, satellite cable or cable, you may need a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission, FCC.

The truth is that all companies are required to obtain some type of licenses and permits to operate legally even if the requirements are variable depending on the type of business and where it is located and according to state government rules.

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