The first step in a business license search depends on the information needed. If it is for startup reasons, the Small Business Administration is a good place to start. For licensing information for a specific business, government agencies are the ideal places to begin a search.
If a business is required to have a license, the information regarding that license is stored in one of several places. Who has the information depends on the licensing requirements for the business. The Small Business Administration provides licensing information for all categories of businesses and is searchable by state and business type.
Businesses that do not have specific licensing information fall under a "general licensing" category on the SBA website. The SBA website also details if businesses require state licenses or federal licenses. When seeking information about how to start a particular business, the SBA is a good place to learn about licensing information and other issues a business owner can experience.
Individuals seeking information about a specific business' license should contact the Secretary of State's office in the state where the business is licensed. If the business is required to carry a local license, the information is housed at the local municipality business, such as the city or county building.