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apply for business license online

Apply for Business License Online: A Quick Guide

When you are starting a business, there is a checklist of things that you need to do.

It is typically very long and continues to grow as you keep checking off items on that list.

However, among all those things to do, people always tend to wonder whether they should apply for business license online or not.

A business license is important if you want to register officially and do business legally in your state.

There is a lot to cover with a business license, so let’s talk about it more in detail below.

What Is a Business License?

Defining a business license can be a bit tough mainly because it refers to several different types of permits and licenses.

In simple words, a business license is like a document issued by a government agency.

It will grant you permission to start and operate your business in a particular location where that agency governs.

As such, the term business license could refer to something like a local business operating license.

This license will allow you to conduct your business within a specified geographical location, such as your town or city.

Alternatively, it can refer to a seller’s license that permits you to sell specific products in the specified area.

The Different Types of Business Licenses

The specific type of business license that you will require completely depends on where the location is and the industry.

That means you will need to obtain separate business licenses at the county, city, and state levels.

In addition, if an association, commission, or board regulates your industry, there is a possibility that you have to present a certification from those bodies before you apply for your business license.

You will also need to check whether your local government comes with any specific license policies related to your industry.

If a federal agency regulates your industry, you will also need to obtain a federal license to start your business.

If you will be running a business in any one of the below-mentioned industries, the SBA states that you will need to apply for a federal business permit or license:

  • Aviation
  • Agriculture
  • Nuclear energy
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Mining and drilling
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Commercial fisheries
  • Maritime transportation
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Radio and television broadcasting
  • Firearms, ammunition, and explosives

How Much Does a Business License Cost?

As stated earlier, the specific licenses you require will vary by state and industry, which means the cost of your business license will also vary based on these factors.

Typically, you can expect to pay a filing or processing fee in addition to the cost of the business license.

A business license can be as cheap as $50 but can go up to hundreds of dollars depending upon the type of business and where it will be.

Since business licenses come with an expiration date, you will need to shell out more money to renew them.

For example, if you want to apply for a business license in Alaska, it will cost you roughly $50 for either a one- or two-year license.

Once it expires, you will need to pay the same price to renew it.

On the other hand, if you want to obtain a business license to start a child care center in a state like New Jersey, you have to shell out for a three-year licensing fee.

That fee would be anywhere between $110 and $250, depending on the child care center’s size.

Once again, when your license expires, you will need to pay the same amount to renew it.

It’s clear that countless factors affect the cost of a business license and other licensing requirements.

For this reason, the SBA advises people to check with the agency issuing and approving these licenses.

It will help you know exactly what you need to do and how much you have to pay to obtain your license.

tips on how to apply for business license online

How To Apply for Business License Online?

Below are the general steps you will need to follow to get your business license.

Step #1: Research

Do proper research of all the regulations in your area where you are doing your business to determine the type or types of business licenses you will require.

If you aren’t sure of the regulations that apply to your particular business, get in touch with your state’s governing agency to get help.

Step #2: Submit

Submit your application with all the necessary documents, such as your entity paperwork, to obtain your license.

You may have to shell out a filing or processing fee to submit your application.

You may also have to wait to know whether your application is approved or not, depending on the state.

Step #3: Receive

Once approved, you will receive your business license, which allows you to operate your business legally in the specified area.

Step #4: Renew

Once the license expires, you will need to renew it according to the state, city, or county’s regulations.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Business License?

Be prepared to wait anywhere from a few days to even weeks to obtain your business license.

The time it takes can depend on several factors, including the state and the type of license you have applied for.

For instance, if you have applied for a local operating license to sell ceramic bowls, you will receive your license faster than receiving a state or federal liquor license.

It’s clearly difficult to know how long it will take for your to obtain your business license.

There are a few things you can try to expedite the process.

Make sure you follow all the directions and submit the forms without any error, along with all the necessary documents.

This will ensure that there won’t be any unnecessary hurdles in obtaining your license.

Apply for Business License Online: In Conclusion

We hope that you have a better understanding of how to apply for business license online.

We recommend consulting the SBA for any assistance.

Visit the SBA small-business resources page and find a detailed list of requirements by simply entering your zip code.

About the Author Ramesh Dontha

I am an entrepreneur, writer, and blogger. I build businesses and love to share my experiences of my successes and failures. My mottos is: Live with purpose, Be Passionate about that purpose, Persevere through ups and downs and keep exploring Possibilities.

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