How do I get a business license?

24 July 2007

I'm amazed at the number of people that email me each week intimidated by the idea of getting a business license. Many have no idea of where to even start.

There is no set fees, license type, or requirements that apply to everyone in every jurisdiction. The process of getting a business license is determined at the local level. Every county can have different requirements and fees. I paid a fee of $20 and filled out a one page form to get my business license. In my case, the process was pretty painless.

The Small Business Administration has an excellent web page titled How to Obtain a Business License. This page contains links to every state and is the perfect place to start.

You should check with your local representatives to make sure you qualify for a business license. If you are going to be working from your home, some local governments may have restrictions on what type of business you can open. If you are going to open a business like a restaurant, hair salon, or real estate firm, there maybe even more requirements.

In most situations, the process is very inexpensive and is pretty straight forward.

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