What Is the Process for a Business License Application?


Quick Answer

Depending on the type of business being established, business owners need to apply for state and perhaps federal permits and licenses, says the Small Business Administration. States have specific requirements for each type of business. Businesses that deal with specific products such as tobacco or firearms need federal licenses.

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Full Answer

Almost every business needs some form of state or local license to operate legally, explains the Small Business Administration. Licensing permits vary according to the type of business and the state in which the business is located. The website of the Small Business Administration provides links to the websites of individual states to guide business owners on the process required in their own states. For example, the NY License Center asks new business owners to select the type of business they are opening to begin the license and permit application process, according to its website.

If a new business is involved in activities supervised by federal agencies, the owners have to obtain federal licenses through applications with the specific agency in control, reports the Small Business Administration. For example, agriculture businesses that import or export animals, animal products, biologics or plants across state lines need to apply for permits through the Department of Agriculture. Businesses that produce nuclear energy or deal with the distribution or disposal of nuclear materials need permits from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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