Free Business License Application Forms and Templates

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What Is a Business License Application Form? 

A Business License Application is a document submitted to the appropriate state authority in order to receive a license or permit. Whether you just formed a company and a license is essential to your chosen industry or you have decided to operate the business in a different way, a license will allow you to conduct your business activity in a particular geographic region. Do not underestimate the importance of a license – to avoid legal troubles and legally operate in your area, you must submit the License Application and pay a filing or processing fee. You might have to pay a fee just once or make payments every year or two years to renew the license.

Business License Application Forms by State 

Each state is within IRS authority to determine what to include in the Business License Application Form and which additional documentation to request. There is broad flexibility when it comes to permits and licenses in different industries, so you need to find out specific application criteria for your location. Generally, you will have to give the licensing authority basic details about your business: names of the owner and company, entity’s mailing and physical addresses, telephone numbers, type of the business and field of activity, taxpayer identification number (employer identification number), the current number of employees, and projected annual income of the company.

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming

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Business License Application Forms by Country 

If your company needs a license or permit to comply with government regulations in another country, find out the requirements for your location and operate your business legally. Depending on the type of entity you have, you might require a special permit for a home-based business or a zoning permit to build on the chosen property. Below you can download Business License Application Forms for Canada and Mexico. 

Why File a Business License Application? 

There are three main purposes to submit documentation and receive a Business License:

  • Identify your company for government records. It is required to help all businesses to function effectively and have evidence of various contractual and financial obligations;
  • Promote the health and safety of the public. If your company sells alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, you might need to obtain a license if your state regulates the distribution and sale of these goods. Additionally, if your business requires employees to have personal access to other people (doctors, barbers) or deal with other people’s property (builders, auto mechanics), you also need to obtain a license to protect yourself in case of future complaints and disputes;
  • Provide the information needed for tax purposes. Certain states link the information on the Business Application with the tax history of the entity. 

Failure to submit proper documentation for a business license or permit if you keep conducting your business illegally can result in additional fees for you, penalties, and operational limitations until you comply with conditions outlined by the licensing authority. In some circumstances, the company might even be forced to shut down. Check the government regulations for your area to find out if you need to file an Application for a Business License. In certain cases, you only need a local license to sell goods and provide services within your city or county. If you plan to open multiple offices or stores in different counties or states, prepare to submit an application in each jurisdiction.

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