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14 Common Business Licenses that You Will Need

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Business Licenses

Common Business Licenses You’ll Need If You Start a Business

Starting a small business is the start of the American dream. Even today, people believe that starting their own business will lead to riches and a great life. The promise of America is a house to call your own, your own car, and a family that is happy. However, it’s not easy.

Rockefeller and Carnegie didn’t just fall into large piles of money. They had to work hard and use that Yankee ingenuity. However, they didn’t have to deal with the zoning laws and licenses that you have to deal with now. That’s why you need to know the law when you’re starting a business. So here are a few common business licenses you’ll need if you start a business. 

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Local Business License

This is perhaps the king of all common business licenses. If you’re operating any local business, you will need one in certain states and counties. This varies between regions and cities.

Peddler’s License

While peddler doesn’t have the most positive connotations, it is technically used for transient merchants or solicitors. This license authorizes you to travel and sell products door to door. If you sell at public events, you can carry samples with you as well. 

Vendor or Sales Privilege License

If you’re selling to customers, face to face, you will need a vendor or sales privilege license. This can include operating a cart or operating a grocery or electronics store. It’s one of the most common business licenses.

Cleaning or Janitorial License

Janitorial and cleaning businesses are required by certain states to have licenses too. For others, only a service contractor’s license is required. However, for safety’s sake, your cleaning business should be licensed and bonded. 

Occupational License/Permit/Certificate

Certain states require that you have one of many common business licenses to provide a professional service. These have to be certified by a national board. The careers that require this can vary from nurse, counselor, dentist, or accountant or attorney.

Gardening/Landscaping Licenses

While this is not the most common business that people run, it’s still one of the most common business licenses that you can get. If you perform gardening for clients, landscape, or even install shrubs and grass, you may require a license. Laying mulch is perhaps the only thing that may not require a license.

If you’re working with fertilizer and transporting large quantities of it, you will also require a license. Fertilizers are, after all, explosive. Some states will also require that you be bonded and hold liability. They will also require you to commit to worker’s compensation insurance.

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Beauty Salon Licenses

This is another business that will never die, hence it’s one of the most common business licenses. You will have to be licensed by your state if you want to work in a beauty salon or operate one. There are different licensing requirements depending on the type of work. These including manicurist, barber, cosmetologist, etc. States require that you have several hours of training and experience before you obtain a license.

Planning and Zoning Permits

Operating a business in a particular area means that you’ll have to develop or alter property in some way. This will either mean construction or making a home office. Hence, you need the relevant planning or zoning permit. These can vary between cities and regions. Hence, contact your local government office before you do anything.

Food Business Licenses

This is one of the most common business licenses that you can get. Since everyone from a vendor to a grocery store owner sells food, it’s imperative that you get one for your food business. It’s also a very tightly regulated business. You will need several types of food licenses depending on the business your operate.

These include food handling licenses, food safety certificates, or catering licenses. You also need a health and safety inspection and food service license. The combination of these licenses deems you worthy to sell food which is healthy, safe, and not harmful. 

Health Permits

Of course, if any business needs a license to operate, healthcare businesses do. It’s one of the most common business licenses you can find anywhere. This is to ensure that these businesses are taking the right precautions to keep their employees and the public safe.

Food businesses, tattoo parlors, and waste haulers need health permits as well. This again, is to make sure that they follow the right precautions to keep their clients and works disease free. 

Liquor License

If you’re providing liquor at any location or at any store, then you will have to have a liquor license. It doesn’t matter whether you’re supplying it at a bar or nightclub, or even a grocery store. This is because you are supplying a controlled substance which can’t be sold to minors. This is approved by your state’s ABC agency.

Tobacco License

You only need this license for the cigarette or tobacco trade. You will have to be licensed if you’re selling so much as a single cigarette from a single pack.

Contractor and Tradesman Permit

Contractors or tradesmen need licenses to make sure they’re providing quality services. These can range from builders, plumbers, electricians, to carpenters, etc. The requirements for each vary as widely as their specialty and expertise. The state in which they operate also matters.

Fire Inspections

If your business is open to the public, you will have to have a fire inspection and a permit. This will ascertain whether you have fire hazards in the building and whether you have a fire exit or not. Of the common business licenses required, this one applies mostly to bars and nightclubs; but also to grocery stores.

Federal Laws/Requirements

You will need to stay up to date with your taxes and your fees as well. No business can function without that. According to the Small Business Administration, you have to comply with these laws at the very least:

  • Marketing and Advertising Laws
  • Copyright Law
  • Workplace Poster Laws
  • Workplace Health and Safety Laws
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

If you’re running any type of small business, you should look into these common business licenses to operate it legally.

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