Business License Application Package FAQs
Who issues business licenses, permits and tax registrations?
These documents are typically issued at all levels of government – federal, state and local (city, county or town). Depending on the industry, how and where business is transacted, you may need to obtain licenses from several of these levels.
For example, if you decide to open a bar and restaurant in Atlanta, you need all necessary licenses and permits from the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the US government. So you will most likely need a Federal Tax ID (EIN) Number from the IRS, a license to sell alcoholic beverages from the state of Georgia, a State Tax ID Number to collect sales tax and withhold payroll taxes, a health permit from the city of Atlanta to prepare and sell food, as well as a basic business license to operate the restaurant within the city. These are just some of the possible licensing requirements you may incur. There are over 19,000 separate licensing jurisdictions in the US and each has its own particular licensing requirement. Be sure to review the requirements for your business.
Back to Top
What types of licenses, permits and tax registrations does a business commonly need?
There are many licensing, permit and tax registrations that may be imposed on a business. A list of the most common licensing requirements is provided below.
Back to Top
- Basic business operation license. This is a license from the city in which your business will operate, or from the local county (if the business will be operated outside of the city's legal boundaries).
- Federal tax ID (EIN) number. Issued by the IRS, the EIN is also called a tax identification number or employer identification number, and is required for almost all types of businesses. BizFilings can assist with the obtainment of the federal tax ID (EIN) for your business. This service is included in our Deluxe Incorporation Service, can be added to our Enhanced or Basic Incorporation Services or can be purchased as a stand-alone service. View our Federal Tax ID (EIN) Obtainment Service page to learn more.
- State tax ID number. Issued by your state’s department of revenue or taxation, the state tax ID number is also called a tax registration number. BizFilings can also assist with the preparation of the state tax ID number application form in states that require a state tax ID number. Our incorporation order form will include this option, if it is available in your desired state of incorporation.
- DBA/fictitious business name registration. The doing business as (DBA) or fictitious business name registration happens with the appropriate state or local jurisdiction. BizFilings prepares and files DBA registrations for businesses in all 50 states. View our DBA Filing Service page to learn more about this service.
- Home occupation permit. Your local government may require this permit if your business is home-based.
- Zoning and land use permits. Local governments’ zoning laws may prohibit certain business activity in designated areas.
- Building permit. If you plan on remodeling or building a commercial space, you'll need to get a building permit.
- Health department permit. This permit is required primarily if your business involves the preparation and/or sale of food.
- Sales tax license/sellers permit/resellers permit. This license/permit has many names and those names vary by state, but it is required for the selling of almost all products and services.
- Fire and police department permits. These permits are required especially for businesses that will attract large numbers of customers (i.e. nightclubs and bars).
- Alarm permits. These permits are required for businesses having an alarm that is connected to a monitoring service.
- Special state-issued business licenses or permits. These permits are required if your business will involve the sale of the following types of products: liquor, lottery tickets, gasoline and firearms.
- Special state-issued occupational licenses. These permits are required if you will be offering a number of state-regulated services, including: medical care, auto repair, real estate sales, tax services, insurance sales, cosmetology, and legal representation (attorneys). Please note, this is in addition to a professional license required for each individual practicing in these fields.
What are the consequences of failing to obtain the necessary licenses, permits and tax registrations?
Failure to comply could jeopardize your business, resulting in expensive penalties or leaving you with no legal protection. Due to the continuous rise in traditional taxes, governments are always looking for alternative revenue streams, which often prompt increased vigilance for business license evaders. Many governments resort to hiring third-party collectors. Some of the pitfalls included in evading these licenses include:
Back to Top
- You may not be able to open your new location
- You may not be able to add a new item, service or structure
- Your location may be padlocked
- You may be hit with costly penalties and interest, or even personal liens
Which licenses, permits and tax registrations do I need?
Requirements vary by industry, and how and where business is being transacted. BizFilings’ Business License Application Package includes a complete overview for your business and provides all required license, permit and tax registration applications required for your business. Our Business License Application Package includes:
Back to Top
- A complete overview of the licenses, permits and tax registrations that may be required for your business in one city, county and state
- The appropriate licensing authority’s contact information, including name, address, telephone number, etc.
- The actual license, permit and tax registration applications and associated documents necessary to obtain these documents.
- Filing instructions for how and where to return your completed applications in order to obtain the licenses, permits and tax registrations.
What are “highly-regulated” industries?
Certain industries are highly regulated by government agencies, and often incur greater requirements. In many cases, we impose additional charges to prepare a Business License Application Package for businesses in these highly regulated industries, such as:
- Agriculture – pesticides & fertilizers
- Animal related
- Collection/Debt management
- Educational services
- Explosives & firearms
- Financial services
- Hazardous materials
- Social services
If we determine additional charges will be required, one of our Incorporation Specialists will contact you prior to proceeding with your order.
Back to Top
Will BizFilings obtain the necessary licenses, permits and tax registrations on behalf of my business?
No. We can, however, provide you with all the necessary documents and applications required so that you may work with the federal, state and local governments to ensure your business is in compliance with these requirements.
Back to Top
How long does it take for BizFilings to complete the overview and provide the necessary applications for obtaining the appropriate licenses?
Turn-around depends on how the service is ordered. If added to an incorporation service package or our DBA Filing Service, we begin the process after we receive approval of your incorporation filing from the state or DBA filing from the county/state. If ordered as a stand-alone service, we begin the process upon receipt of payment. Typical turnaround time after we begin the process is 5-7 business days.
Back to Top