Business License Research

Business License Research

Prior to the grand opening of your business, you must accomplish a number of organizational tasks. Being permitted represents a very important step. Likely, you will have multiple licenses to obtain before you start doing business. So that your enterprise is not interrupted, you need a resource to be sure you have the necessary licenses.

What Are the Types of Business Licenses I May Need?

The most basic business license goes by the term “privilege license.” It takes the form of a fee or tax simply for doing business. Your city, town, county or state imposes it upon you no matter what type of business you own or industry in which you conduct it.

The potential list of permits does not end with the “privilege license.” Generally, the additional licenses or permits will turn on your industry. Below are just samples of the types of businesses or activities that require business licenses, underscoring the need for research services.

Business License Research


These licenses allow you to pursue a particular profession or line of work. State boards and agencies grant licenses for would-be professionals such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects, physicians, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists and pharmacists. To hold one of these professional licenses means that you have embraced the rigors of college and professional schools, passed a comprehensive licensing examination, and demonstrated your fitness for practice.

You must have a license for a number of occupations that do not necessarily involve much undergraduate or graduate work. These kinds of occupational licenses include cosmetologists, barbers, electricians, plumbers, heating and air conditioning contractors, general contractors, land surveyors, massage therapists and physical therapists. Though some of these do not require a college education, these fields are licensed and regulated because of the potential significant harm to consumers and the public from mistakes or misconduct.


You need a license to deal in particular types of goods and services. Licenses to act as an agent or broker in securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds), real estate and insurance are often granted by occupational boards. If you sell securities or other investments and financial products, you must also have a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This self-governing agency authorizes work for a number of other occupations and roles in the banking, investment and insurance fields. States require those selling more than a given number of vehicles to have a dealer’s license.

Licensing requirements also address the handling and sale of potentially dangerous goods or those that require considerable care. Among these commodities you will find firearms, prescriptions, alcohol and tobacco. Having a license to practice medicine or pharmacy does not automatically allow you to sell prescriptions for certain controlled substances. For such sales or handling, you need a separate permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency. States or local governments require licenses to sell alcohol, with permits specific to sales at bars, restaurants, special events and stadiums.

Type of Establishment

Operating particular types of establishments usually trigger business license requirements. Boards and agencies in charge of protecting the public health license nursing homes, rest homes, clinics, hospitals, restaurants and other foodservice places, mobile home parks, and childcare centers.

You will need a license to run a pawnshop, massage parlor, and places offering adult entertainment. Governmental agencies closely monitor these types of businesses due to the potential for criminal activity perceived to be associated with them.

Property or Land Use

Strictly speaking, permits required for particular land uses are not business licenses. However, building, zoning and other land use permits have significant impacts on how and where your business operates. With regard to zoning in particular, you may find that store or salon idea difficult to run out of your home. Advertising with large signs or objects may prove unavailable where ordinances impose height or other size limits.

Let a Professional Do the Paper Work

Let a Professional Do the Paper Work

What is Business License Research?

The above list doesn’t cover all of the potential licenses or permits you need to start a business. Federal, state and local agencies may all have a say in whether and how you operate a single business. For instance, a pharmacy owner must have a license to dispense medications, obtain a revenue-based privilege license, and comply with building and zoning codes.

With a business license research service, you have a way to navigate through all of the regulatory bodies that may affect your business set-up and operations. You provide the service information such as what business you will conduct and where you will perform it. Be especially specific in your business address, for it may determine whether you are in a city or town as opposed to outside municipal limits. Where you live affects the type of land use laws that you must follow and the permits you must have.

The research service takes all of this information and generates a list of required licenses, applications and instructions for obtaining the licenses. Pay special attention in the instructions to the application fees and the annual license fees. You will also learn what documents you must compile and submit. These may include proofs of adequate insurance or other financial responsibility to reimburse those harmed by negligence, mismanagement or misconduct from your business.

Why is Business License Research Important to Your Business?

You will face delays and legal problems, displease customers and investors, and lose opportunities if you launch into a venture without obtaining the required permits.

In other words, you need to know about the required licenses in order to effectively plan your business. Cumulatively, the licenses you obtain could cost several hundred or thousands of dollars. You need to factor these costs into your financial needs and requests from investors or lenders. Consider the time it takes to get a license when you plan or announce the grand opening. Depending on the specific license, agencies will pull your criminal record, investigate your background, require you to obtain certifications, conduct licensing examinations, and inspect your proposed business.

Operating a business without the required permits also opens you to potentially hefty sanctions. At a minimum, the governing board can order that you stop until permitted. In a number of states, engaging in many types of business without the proper permits constitutes a crime. Fines and even jail time are possible. Additionally, for businesses such as electricians, general contractors, plumbers, the absence of license bars you from collecting for your services. This is regardless of the quality of your work.

Make a research of the required business permits part of your business organization and expansion. License research services can help you avoid interruptions and derailing of your plans that come from not having the required permits. You can always reach out to a professional such as LLC Formations to help you along the way.