How to Obtain a Business License

Do you have a small business idea that you want to monetize and you don’t know how to obtain a business license? This article will explain you how to get a business license and will save you valuable time and money.

Right at the very start we want to emphasize that the business license vary depending the city you want to register your business. Other than that, acquiring a business license is relatively easy, all you have to do is follow the process.

How to obtain a business license – Know Your City, Determine Your Business Code, Fill Forms

The first thing you need to do is to decide where to operate, because you will need to get business license from the city. The city needs to relate and associate your business with a certain address of operation. It doesn’t matter if it is an office, or a room in your house, you need to register an address.

Check the US Small Business Administration (SBA)’s website and search online with the keyword business license and your city’s name. In that way you will be sure that you find the proper regulations and addresses related to your city and industry in particular.

Ok, so you know you address, know where to get your business license and you got lots of information on how to do it. Now you need to determine the code of your business. You will do that by finding the right code for your business type. You may need to search online for the application processes, because they are slightly different for every city and business code. So, again go to the SBA website and search your location to find in detail for your type of business.

After that you are ready to get all of the forms and fill them out. The forms are different for every location and business type. On the SBA website find the one that fits your parameters. You will do that easily as the site is really intuitive. After you download them, you’ll need some additional forms to the so called basic application. These additional forms are actually needed to get permits. Permits vary from location and situation. This is especially important if you are in the construction businesses where you need city permits. Read all requirements in the applications carefully, see the fees as well!

After you gathered all of the application forms you need to manually fill them in. Print them and fill them by hand. But, you can also do this online and you’ll need to create an account for that. The most basic information that you’ll need to have to register your business are the information about business’s type, address, name of owner, contact info, federal ID number and number of employees.

How to Obtain A Business License – Finance Department, Pay Fees, Receive Your Business License

After you filled out the forms, you need to file your forms to the finance department in the city where your business will operate. Search and find the correct address online before sending. Of course, you have to pay for the filling fee. Each city has different filling fee, it is usually ranging from $49 to $450 or even more, depending the business type you want to register. Some processing fees can also come along the way, so be prepared for that as well.

As everything in getting the needed business license is depending from the type of business and the city of operation, the period of waiting to get your business license also depends on that. From 1-2 days, to up to 14 days, the waiting period will be different. Usually, the business license needs to be picked up in person from the business owner.


The process of acquiring a business license for your business is relatively easy, but not that simple. The details you need to take care of are: city of operation, type of business, business code, proper forms and paying the filling form fees. Anyone can do this on their own, there is no need for acquiring consultants and making additional expenses.