Where a small business license is obtained depends on the type of business and the business location. Certain business require federal, state and local permits, which are obtained from different entities.
Each state requires different business licenses, depending on the type of business. The U.S. Small Business Administration is a good starting point to determine which license, if any, a particular business will need. Certain businesses, including those that sell firearms or alcohol, require federal and local permits, which are obtained from different locations. For instance, for a business selling alcohol at a retail location, permits must be obtained from both the U.S. Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the local Alcohol Beverage and Control Board.