How to Get a Business License in All 50 States

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How to Get a Business License in All 50 States

Table of Contents

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.

Use this drop-down menu to select your state get the info fast! Or download a PDF for information for all 50 states:

Search by State (e.g. Alabama)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Track Status

Select your state above.

And see results over here

Location_01
Alabama
Cost
Varies by county and business type; see the Alabama Department of Revenue's business licensing FAQs for more information
Required?
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
Location_01
Alaska
Cost
$0 per year
Required?
Yes; see Alaska's business licensing FAQs for details and possible exceptions
How to File
Location_01
Arizona
Cost
$0 to $50; see Arizona's license fee worksheet for city-specific fees
Required?
Varies based on business type and city; see Arizona's licensing and taxes to determine if your business requires a license
How to File
Arizona Department of Revenue for a transaction privilege tax (TPT) license; contact your local government for municipal business license information
Location_01
Arkansas
Cost
$50 for a statewide sales tax permit; contact your municipal government office for city-level business license information
Required?
Most businesses require a sales tax permit; other types of licenses and permits may be required depending on your business type and city
How to File
Location_01
California
Cost
$0 for a seller's permit; other types of permits and licenses may have associated fees
Required?
Businesses selling tangible goods require a seller's permit; other licenses or permits may be required depending on your business type and location
How to File
Use the CalGold Business Permit System to determine which permits or licenses you need and how to obtain them
Location_01
Colorado
Cost
$4-$16 for a sales tax license; fees vary for other types of regulated industries and professions
Required?
Businesses selling tangible goods require a sales tax license; other licenses or permits may be required depending on your business type and location
How to File
Location_01
Connecticut
Cost
$100 for a Sales and Use Tax Permit; fees vary for other types of licenses and permits
Required?
Many businesses require a Sales and Use Tax Permit; other licenses or permits may be required depending on your business type and location
How to File
Use myconneCT portal to apply for a Sales and Use Tax; refer to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection for information about other types of permits and licenses
Location_01
Delaware
Cost
$75 per year for your first location, plus $25 per year for each additional location
Required?
Yes
How to File
Location_01
Florida
Cost
Varies based on the type of license you're applying for
Required?
No; only some industries and professions require a license to operate
How to File
Refer to the Florida Department of State to determine if your business needs a license
Location_01
Georgia
Cost
Required?
Any business meeting the definition of "dealer" must obtain a sales and use tax number; other licenses may be required depending on business type
How to File
Location_01
Hawaii
Cost
$20 for a General Excise Tax (GET) license
Required?
All businesses must obtain a GET license; additional permits may be required depending on business type and location
How to File
Use Hawaii Tax Online to apply for a GET license; contact your local government to find out if any city or county licenses are required
Location_01
Idaho
Cost
$0 for the Idaho Business Registration (IBR) application; other licenses and permits may have associated fees
Required?
All businesses must register a name and entity type; many must obtain a seller's permit; some may need to apply for other types of licenses
How to File
Use Idaho's Business Wizard to find out which federal and state licenses you need; contact your local government to learn about city and county licenses
Location_01
Illinois
Cost
$0 for business registration; other types of permits and licenses may have associated fees
Required?
All businesses must register with the Illinois Department of Revenue; other registrations, licenses and permits may be required depending on business type
How to File
Use MyTax Illinois to register your business; check with your local government to see if you need any city- or county-level licenses
Location_01
Indiana
Cost
$25 for a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate (RRMC); other types of licenses and permits may have additional associated fees
Required?
An RRMC is required if your business sells tangible goods; other permits and licenses may be necessary depending on business type
How to File
Use INTIME for state-level licenses; contact your local government for city- or county-specific licensing information
Location_01
Iowa
Cost
$0 for a sales tax permit; other types of permits may carry fees
Required?
A sales tax permit is required if your business sells tangible goods and services; other permits may be required depending on your business' industry
How to File
Location_01
Kansas
Cost
$0 to register your business; other types of licenses and permits may require additional fees
Required?
All businesses must register with the state; certain types of businesses may require additional permits and licenses
How to File
Kansas Business Filing Center; contact your city or county government for information about location-specific licenses and permits
Location_01
Kentucky
Cost
$0 to register your business; other registrations, permits and licenses may carry additional fees
Required?
All businesses are required to register with the state; some businesses may need to apply for additional permits
How to File
Location_01
Louisiana
Cost
$0 to register a business; other types of permits may require additional fees
Required?
All businesses must register with the state; only certain types of businesses need additional permits and licenses
How to File
Use geauxBIZ to create a business license checklist
Location_01
Maine
Cost
$0 to register for sales and use tax; other types of licenses and permits may carry additional fees
Required?
Many businesses are required to register for sales and use tax; some professions may require additional licensing
How to File
Contact your local government for information about a general business license; use Maine's Business Answers service to find out if you need other types of permits
Location_01
Maryland
Cost
Varies based on the type of license or permit
Required?
Many businesses must obtain a sales and use tax license; some businesses may be required to obtain additional permits and licenses
How to File
Use the Combined Registration Online Application to apply for most common license types; visit the Maryland OneStop Portal to explore less common licenses and permits; contact your local Clerk of the Court for information about city- and county-level licensing requirements
Location_01
Massachusetts
Cost
$0 to obtain a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate; other permits and licenses may have additional fees
Required?
Many businesses must register to collect sales and use tax; other types of licenses may be required depending on business type
How to File
Use MassTaxConnect to register to collect sales and use tax; contact your city or local government for location-specific license information
Location_01
Michigan
Cost
$0 to obtain a sales tax license; other types of licenses and permits may have additional fees
Required?
Businesses selling tangible personal property must get a sales tax license; other types of businesses may be required to obtain other licenses and permits
How to File
Use Michigan Treasury Online to apply for a sales tax license; see the State License Search to find other types of permits; contact your local government for city- and county-specific licensing details
Location_01
Minnesota
Cost
Varies based on the type of permit or license needed
Required?
There is no statewide business license required, but certain types of businesses may need to obtain permits or licenses
How to File
Minnesota Elicensing; check with your city and county government offices for local licensing information
Location_01
Mississippi
Cost
$0 for a sales tax permit; other permit types may have associated fees
Required?
Many businesses are required to have a sales tax permit; some may need to obtain additional permits and licenses depending on industry and location
How to File
Use the state's Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) to apply for a sales tax permit; see the Secretary of State's guidance to learn about special registrations; contact your city and county government for local licensing details
Location_01
Missouri
Cost
Varies by location, business type and the type of license/permit being applied for
Required?
There is no statewide business license requirement in Missouri, although there are exceptions for certain business types and businesses located in certain areas
How to File
See the Missouri Division of Professional Registration to learn about state-regulated industries and professions; contact your local government to inquire about city- or county-specific licensing requirements
Location_01
Montana
Cost
Varies based on city, county, business type and the type of license or permit being applied for
Required?
The state of Montana has no general business license requirement, but specific cities and counties may
How to File
Location_01
Nebraska
Cost
Varies based on license type and location
Required?
Nebraska has no general business license requirement, but specific cities and counties may have different laws and regulations
How to File
Use the License and Inspection Portal to research state-level licensing; contact your local government for city- and county-specific licensing information
Location_01
Nevada
Cost
$500 for corporations; $200 for all other entity types
Required?
Nevada requires all businesses to obtain a state-level business license; you may need additional licensing depending on your business type and location
How to File
Use SilverFlume to apply for a state business license; contact your local government for city- and county-specific licensing information
Location_01
New Hampshire
Cost
Varies based on the type of license or permit
Required?
New Hampshire has no general business license requirement; certain professions may require additional licensing
How to File
New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification; contact your local government for location-specific licensing details
Location_01
New Jersey
Cost
$125 for LLCs, corporations and other business entities to obtain a Certificate of Formation and register with the state; $0 for sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals
Required?
All businesses must file a Certificate of Formation and register to pay taxes; some businesses may require additional licenses and permits
How to File
Register your business with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury; use the state's Licensing and Certification Guide to learn about other licenses you may need; contact your city and county government for local licensing information
Location_01
New Mexico
Cost
Varies based on your business's location and type
Required?
All businesses must register with the state; other local business licenses and permits may also be required
How to File
Taxation and Revenue Department; Secretary of State; contact your local government offices for city- and county-specific licensing requirements
Location_01
New York
Cost
Varies based on county and the type of license or permit
Required?
All businesses must file a Business Certificate; many must register as a sales tax vendor; some may required additional licensing
How to File
Contact your County Clerk to get a Business Certificate; register as a sales tax vendor with the Department of Taxation and Finance; check the license database to see if you need additional permits and licenses
Location_01
North Carolina
Cost
Varies based on business type and location
Required?
No general business license is required, but one or more state- and/or local-level licenses may be required instead
How to File
Refer to the Secretary of State to see if your business needs any licenses or permits to legally operate
Location_01
North Dakota
Cost
Varies based on business type and the license or permit being applied for.
Required?
All foreign (out-of-state) businesses must obtain a Certificate of Authority; some may require additional state licensing; local permits and licenses may also be required
How to File
Apply for a Certificate of Authority from the Secretary of State; learn about other professional licenses provided by the state; contact your local government for local licensing information
Location_01
Ohio
Cost
Varies based on business type and the specific license or permit being applied for
Required?
There is no general business license requirement, but all businesses must register with the state; additional licenses and permits may also be required
How to File
Register with the Secretary of State and Department of Taxation; find out if you need specific licenses and permits based on your business type; contact your city and county for local licensing information
Location_01
Oklahoma
Cost
Varies based on business type and the permit or license being applied for
Required?
Oklahoma has no general business license requirement, but all businesses must register with the state; other licenses and permits may also be necessary
How to File
Register your business at the Oklahoma Taxpayer Access Point (TAP); see the Department of Commerce's guide to professional licensing; contact your county or city government for local licensing information
Location_01
Oregon
Cost
Varies based on business type and the specific license or permit being applied for
Required?
All businesses are required to register with the state; some may be subject to additional industry- and location-based licenses
How to File
Location_01
Pennsylvania
Cost
Varies based on your business's industry and the type of license or permit you're applying for
Required?
All businesses must register with the state; some may also need additional licenses or permits
How to File
See Pennsylvania's guide to business registration and licensing services; contact your city or county government for local licensing details
Location_01
Rhode Island
Cost
Varies based on the type of business and the permit or license being applied for
Required?
Rhode Island has no general business license, but all businesses must register with the state; additional local and professional licensing requirements may apply
How to File
Register your business with the Division of Taxation; refer to the Department of Business Regulation for professional licenses; contact your local government for city- and county-specific licensing information
Location_01
South Carolina
Cost
Varies based on location, business type and license or permit
Required?
Nearly all municipialities in the state require business licenses; other types of licenses and permits may also be necessary
How to File
Contact your county government office for local business license information
Location_01
South Dakota
Cost
$0 for a sales tax license; other licenses and permits may have additional associated fees
Required?
Many businesses must obtain a sales tax license; some may require industry- or location-specific licenses or permits
How to File
Apply for a tax license through the Department of Revenue; view the governor's guide to licensing your business
Location_01
Tennessee
Cost
$15 for each new business license application
Required?
All businesses with gross receipts exceeding $3,000 must obtain a business license
How to File
See the Department of Revenue's instructions for registration and licensing; check Tennessee's regulated professions to see if you need any additional licenses
Location_01
Texas
Cost
Varies based on the type of permit or license
Required?
No general business license is required, but some businesses may require additional licenses or permits
How to File
Location_01
Utah
Cost
$22-$50 for business registration; other licenses and permits may carry additional fees
Required?
All businesses must register with the state; many cities and counties require businesses to obtain a local business license
How to File
OneStop Online Business Registration System; contact your local government for municipal licensing information
Location_01
Vermont
Cost
Varies based on the type of permit or license being applied for
Required?
Almost all businesses must register with the state; many also need to register for a business tax account
How to File
Register with the Secretary of State; create a business tax account with the Department of Taxes
Location_01
Virginia
Cost
Varies depending on the permit or license being obtained
Required?
All businesses must register with the state; additional licenses may be required depending on business type
How to File
Register with the State Corporation Commission; check with your city and county government to determine if you need any other types of licenses or permits
Location_01
Washington
Cost
$0-$90 depending on several variables
Required?
Washington requires most businesses to obtain a business license
How to File
Washington State Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Wizard
Location_01
Washington DC
Cost
Varies according to business activity
Required?
Most businesses are required to have a business license; refer to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to find out if yours is one of them
How to File
Location_01
West Virginia
Cost
Required?
All businesses must file a business registration certificate; most cities and counties require a local business license
How to File
Use the WV One Stop Business Portal to obtain a business registration certificate; view the Occupational, Professional and Special Licenses and Permits page to see if your business needs any additional licensing
Location_01
Wisconsin
Cost
$20 for a Business Tax Registration (BTR) Certificate; other permits and licenses may carry additional fees
Required?
Almost all businesses must obtain a BTR Certificate; many must obtain a seller's permit; some may need an industry- or location-specific licenses or permits
How to File
Apply for a BTR Certificate and seller's permit with the Department of Revenue; see a list of specialized licenses from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; contact your local government for municipal licensing information
Location_01
Wyoming
Cost
Varies by the type of license or permit being acquired
Required?
Wyoming has no general business license requirement, but many may need to obtain a Sales and Use Tax license; some may also be required to obtain other local or industry-specific permits and licenses
How to File
Apply for a Sales and Use Tax license with the Department of Revenue; refer to the Wyoming Business Council for general licensing and permitting information; contact your city or county government to learn about local licensing requirements

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 GA

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 NC

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, Incfile'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.

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