Business license

Licenses and Permits to Open a Business What do I need?

Obtaining licenses and permissions to open a business is absolutely necessary when it comes to starting a new business. Not doing it from the start is a mistake that many new entrepreneurs make, especially when they have a home-based business.

To open a business it is required to have a Business License ” Business Licence” or permit which varies according to the type of business, the location of the state or county, among the permissions that must have the Fire Department Permit, Sign permits, County permits and State license.

The following are some of the most common licenses and permits that small business owners in the United States may need and where to go for more information.

Business Licensing or Business License

Contact your city’s business licensing department ((tag_strong business license department to find out how to obtain a business license, which essentially entitles you (after paying a fee, of course) to operate a business in that city or county. When you submit your license application they make sure that in the area where you want to open your business is allowed to do so.

You cannot operate in an area that is not zoned for your type of business unless you obtain a use permit, file your case with your city commission and demonstrate that your business will not alter the lifestyle of residents of that sector.

If you are planning to start a business in your home, you should carefully investigate the zoning ordinances of your home. Some residential areas tend to have strict rules to prevent the use of housing for commercial purposes.  However, it is still possible to obtain a use permit, since in many areas the attitude towards ” home-based business” is increasingly favourable, which makes it easier for them to make an exception.

Fire Department Permissions or Fire Department Permit

You may need to obtain a permit from your fire department if your company uses any flammable materials or if your facilities will be open to the public.  In some cities you have to get this permission before opening the business.  Other areas do not require permits, but simply follow the schedule of periodic inspections of your business to see if it meets fire safety standards. If you don’t, they’ll issue a subpoena. Businesses such as restaurants,, nursing homes, childcare and any other place where many people congregate are subject to frequent checks by the fire department fire brigade.

Signage Permission or Signs or Sign Permits

Some cities and suburbs restrict the size, location, and sometimes lighting and type of signal you can use outside your business. To avoid costly errors it is best to check the rules and get written approval from your landlord (if you rent) before you go to install your notice.

County Permits

County governments often require the same types of permits and licenses as cities.  If your business is outside the jurisdiction of a city, these permits may apply to you.

State Licensing or State License

In many states, people in certain professions must have licenses or permits for such work.  They often have to pass state tests before they can obtain these permits and do business.  Many states often require a license for mechanics, plumbers, electricians, home repairers, construction contractors, collection agencies, insurance agents, real estate agents, and anyone who provides personal services (i. e., hairdressers, cosmetologists, doctors and nurses). Contact state government offices for a complete list of licensed occupations.

Sales Tax License.  

The reason why you need a resale certificate (in other states, this can be called a “seller’s permit” is that any business that sells taxable goods or services must pay it on the sales you make. Check the rules in your state and meet these requirements, this is a very important point.

Health Department Permit

Health Department Permits

If you plan to sell food, either directly to customers as in a restaurant or as a wholesaler to other retailers, you will need this permission. This costs about $25 and varies depending on the size of the business and the amount and type of equipment you have. The health department will want to inspect your facilities before issuing the permit.

How to obtain licenses and permits to open a business in the United States (USA) for each State?

Do you want to start your own business? Are you confused about whether you need a business license or a permit?

Virtually every business needs some kind of license or permit to operate legally. However, licensing and permit requirements vary depending on the type of business you want to open, depending on the location and governance rules of that State.

To help you identify the specific licenses or permissions your business needs, simply select a state from the list below to learn about the specific license and permission in the area where your business is located.

Licensing offices and permits to open a business by state:


Hispanic entrepreneur with a degree in business administration and experience working in the United States. My passion for business and entrepreneurship led me to launch my own blog where I share information and resources to help other Hispanic entrepreneurs achieve success in their businesses.

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