Starting a business is more than just coming up with a name and opening the doors. Organizations need different licenses in order to comply with federal, state, and local requirements for businesses. Understanding the types of licenses can help you decide which ones you will need for your business.

Business Operating License

A business operating license is a first and most important license you need for your business. This license allows you to operate your business within your local municipality. The processes and required documents vary based on where you are filing for this license. In addition, the types of businesses that need an operating license vary based on the industry.

Building and Zoning Permits

If you are building a building for your business, doing major renovations, or operating a business in a residentially-zoned area of your community, you may need building and/or zoning permits. The specific permits needed depends on what you will be doing to establish your business in your community. 

Health and Safety Licenses

Some businesses require health and safety licenses to operate. Specifically, organizations that work with hazardous or dangerous materials will need licenses to store and use those materials on-site. Organizations like hotels, restaurants, and gyms will need fire department permits. Other types of organizations may also need a health license. The specific types of health and safety licenses depend on the products and services provided to customers. Any organization that provides for customers’ health, such as gyms or serving food, will require a health license.

Environmental Licenses

Environmental licenses provide an assurance to the community that your organization is not harming the environment. This type of license typically includes factors like waste removal, air, and water quality levels, and may include the overall impact of the organization on the local habitat.

No matter what type of business you are opening, you will need licenses to operate. Before you start offering your products and services, make sure you have everything you need to comply with regulations.