How do I get a Business License?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Many small business owners choose to get a business license as a way of protecting their business. In fact, it is not unusual for local municipalities and sometimes state or national governments to require that a valid business license be maintained as long as the business functions within the jurisdiction. While the requirements and procedures to will vary from one location to another, there are a few things to keep in mind when applying for a business license.

A business license enables an individual to operate a business in a city, county, or state.
A business license enables an individual to operate a business in a city, county, or state.

Before you begin the licensing process, it is important to have all your documentation in order and ready to present for consideration. This will include data on the establishment of the company, any type of identification number that is required by the national government to be recognized as a business, and any alternate names that the company does business under. The idea is to have everything in order so you can provide all information required by the local jurisdiction without having to stop and locate some necessary data.

Some businesses, like a bar, require a special kind of license.
Some businesses, like a bar, require a special kind of license.

Before you actually go to get a business license, contact the local government and confirm which department or division handles the issuance of the licenses. At the same time, you can also ask questions about data needed for the application, how long it takes to process your application, and how much the license will cost. Taking the time to do your homework in advance will save you a lot of time and frustration later in the process.

Increasingly, many jurisdictions offer online resources to help with applying for business licenses. The site may contain a worksheet that helps you understand how to properly fill out the business license application, the ability to download the business license form or forms that are part of the application process, and information on how to go about executing a business license renewal. Downloading the necessary application forms in advance and filling them out before you go to get your license means that you can take your time and double-check all the information before you submit the application.

In some countries, it is possible to get a business license online, with no need to make a trip to the local court house. Once your application is submitted via the Internet, it is evaluated. If approved, you are directed to a secure site where you can access and print your online business license. Alternatively, you may get a license as a file attachment to an email notifying you that your application has been approved.

Keep in mind that the process is created and managed in accordance with local laws. This means that there are specific criteria you must meet in order to obtain a business license permit and complete the registration process. Knowing what you need in order to prepare for submitting the application will make the process much easier and often help to expedite the approval of your application.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


@Cupcale15- I also want to add that if your business name does not involve your own name then you will have to file for a fictitious name license. This is only about $25 and you can also do this online as well.


I just wanted to say that getting a business license in Florida is easy. You just have to go online to the county clerk’s section and file. You will need your business name and the type of entity that you are filing too.

There are companies that will do this for you but they charge a lot more than the business license costs. I had to pay about $125 and every year when I renewed by license, I had to pay this same amount.

You used to have to go to the courthouse but luckily now you can do this online and not have to worry about leaving your home.

Post your comments
Forgot password?