Business License Compliance By State 2024

Gabrielle Sinacola | May 3, 2024

Business License Compliance By State 2024

In recent years, we’ve seen a significant uptick in enforcing business license compliance across the United States. What’s the reason, though? It’s all about ensuring public safety and adapting to new business models, from the gig economy to the digital marketplace.

If you’re interested in obtaining a business license in your state, we’ll break down each one to point you in the right direction.

What Makes Business License Management So Complex?

Business license management is vast, with over 75,000 licensing authorities spanning federal, state, county, and municipal levels. Moreover, each authority has its own set of rules, forms, and deadlines.

For businesses, the challenge doesn’t stop at figuring out the need for a basic operating license. Depending on your industry, you may find yourself juggling a variety of specialized licenses, each with its own set of requirements.

Whether you’re opening a new pharmacy, launching a construction firm, or starting a financial services company, the specifics of what you need to operate legally can vary dramatically from one jurisdiction to another.

This is where Mosey steps in. We understand that keeping track of multiple industry-specific licenses across diverse jurisdictions can make your head spin. Our platform is designed to cut through the complexity, offering a streamlined path to compliance.

How To Get Your Business License by State

Securing a business license is your golden ticket to operating legally in your state. Generally speaking, the process involves getting your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and applying for your license accordingly — however, the process isn’t always exactly the same, because each state has its own rules.

Here are some helpful resources to help guide you through the nuances of obtaining your business license in each state:


Your first stop should be Atlas Alabama for businesses taking root in Alabama. It is a comprehensive resource for small businesses.


On Alaska’s Department of Commerce, you’ll find a clear path to licensing your business, including a handy list of ventures that aren’t required to have a license.


The Arizona Department of Revenue’s website is your key to business licensing, offering detailed guides on taxes, regulatory licenses, and local permits.

Arkansas’s Owning a Business site equips you with tools for legal operation, from registration to obtaining an employer identification number.


CalGold simplifies California’s licensing requirements, guiding you through selecting your city, county, and business type to find necessary licenses.


Colorado Business Express offers an efficient online portal for business licensing, blending convenience with comprehensive support for small business owners.


The New Business Checklist on Connecticut’s official site provides a step-by-step guide to licensing, highlighting essential licenses and permits.


Delaware’s One Stop business registration website streamlines the licensing process, leading you through a simple questionnaire to the required forms.


Washington, D.C.’s Business Center and Basic Business License wizard tool ensures every business secures the necessary operating license.


Head over to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s website to find a hub for small-business licensing tailored to your business type.


Georgia’s business licenses webpage and online portal offer a panoramic view of your licensing needs, ensuring digital application ease.


The Business Express portal in Hawaii automates business registration, using your account to identify required licenses and permits.

Idaho provides a pathway to regulation exploration and online license application, with business type-specific guidance for local licensing.


Explore resources at the Illinois Department of Commerce’s First Stop Business Info Center for planning, legal structure, and licensing your new venture.


Indiana requires businesses to meet diverse regulatory needs. The Business Owner Guide online eases industry-specific licensing requirements.


Iowa skips general business licenses, focusing on profession-based requirements. Use the Iowa Business License Information Center to find necessary licenses.


Determine your business structure, then visit the Kansas Business Center for detailed licensing information.


Kentucky businesses may need special permits. The Kentucky One Stop Business Portal provides all the essentials for starting and licensing your business.


Start with Louisiana’s Business Services page, creating a GeauxBiz account to access a comprehensive license checklist and startup services.


In Maine, licensing is local. Contact your town office using the Local Government portal for necessary contact information.


Maryland’s Department of Commerce offers an online statewide and county license search database. Consult the Department of Labor for industry-specific licensing.


Massachusetts’ Starting a New Business guide includes a Business Licenses and Permits page to identify required special licensing or permits.


Michigan businesses may not always need a license, but certain professions do. An online search tool and a state Licensing & Permits guidebook help with the process.


Minnesota varies in licensing needs. Use the Business Licenses & Permits online tool to find specific licenses by topic or agency.


Not all Mississippi businesses require state licensing. Check the Secretary of State’s website for potential state and local permits.


Missouri’s Business Portal enables registration with the state and provides a list of licensed occupations, suggesting local consultation for further requirements.


Montana offers a detailed list of industry-specific state licenses and additional guidance through the Small Business Development Center Network.


Businesses in specific sectors like collection or private investigation in Nebraska can find licensing information online, with local inquiries recommended for extras.


Start and license your business in Nevada with the SilverFlume Business Portal, outlining each step clearly.

New Hampshire

Local city or town clerks in New Hampshire are important for business operations, complemented by the Department of Revenue’s licensing FAQs.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Business Action Center and its License and Certification Guide direct businesses to necessary licenses and permits.

New Mexico

New Mexico provides online resources and an economic development page to help start your business with the right licenses or permits.

New York

Use New York’s Business Wizard to identify and secure necessary state licenses for your business operation.

North Carolina

North Carolina lacks a general business license, but has varied requirements. State counselors provide personalized occupational license advice, and the online Licenses & Permits page can offer guidance.

North Dakota

The North Dakota New Business Registration website serves as a resource for entrepreneurs, detailing the specific licenses required for a business to operate smoothly and efficiently within the state, ensuring compliance with local regulations.


All Ohio businesses must register with the Secretary of State, with the process further supported by the Small Business Development Center. There, you’ll find valuable advice and implications for licensing.


Oklahoma demands that businesses in certain industries adhere to specific licensing requirements, all of which are outlined on the Department of Commerce’s Business Licensing page, offering a clear pathway to compliance.


Oregon’s business licensing process is streamlined through the secretary of state’s webpage and the Business Xpress License Directory, where entrepreneurs can find all necessary licensing information, making the path to compliance straightforward and accessible.


PALS is Pennsylvania’s online tool for business license applications, renewals, and actions, hosted by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s Department of Business Regulation webpage is a resource for finding, applying for, or renewing licenses online by industry.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, licensing varies by location, with each city and town setting its own rules. The state’s official webpage on permits and registration serves as a comprehensive resource, outlining the steps and directing businesses to the appropriate local authorities for specific licensing requirements.

South Dakota

South Dakota’s “Start Your Business” webpage is a treasure trove of information, offering guides, checklists, and a PDF focused on business licensing and registration.


For Tennessee businesses, obtaining a license is important for tax purposes, with requirements varying based on sales volume. Licenses are obtainable through county or municipal clerks, with distinctions made between a “minimal activity license” and a “standard business license,” catering to different levels of business activity.


Texas entrepreneurs should head to the Start a Business online page. This resource offers links and advice on meeting both state and federal licensing requirements.


Utah’s OneStop Online Business Registration System is designed to streamline the business licensing process, directing companies to their local municipalities. This system simplifies what could be a comprehensive process, ensuring businesses comply with local regulations efficiently.


In Vermont, you can head to the Register a Business page for a walkthrough of necessary steps and applications.


Virginia’s official website offers clear, straightforward guidance for businesses seeking to obtain a license, aligning with the state’s regulatory standards. The site provides a step-by-step approach to the application process, making it simpler for new and existing businesses to ensure they are fully compliant.


Washington State enhances the licensing process with an online service that includes a business licensing wizard offering customized solutions. This tool helps businesses of all sizes with the requirements, ensuring they acquire all necessary licenses and permits in a streamlined manner.

West Virginia

West Virginia’s online business portal simplifies the search for business licenses, directing users to the specific agencies handling the licenses, permits, and registrations required. This efficient system is designed to save time and reduce the complexity of obtaining the necessary authorization to operate a state business.

Wisconsin provides an accessible portal that leads businesses to a wealth of resources within the Licenses and Permits section. Businesses can find comprehensive support for licensing needs here, including direct links to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection for industry-specific licensing inquiries.


Wyoming offers detailed permitting and licensing guidance through an online walkthrough on the Start a Business page.

Choose Mosey To Ensure Compliance in 2024

With Mosey, getting your foot into the door of business licensing becomes less daunting and more of an adventure. We’re here to ensure that your journey through each state’s requirements is seamless and successful — we keep everything you need all on one platform from mail to agency account logins to upcoming tasks.

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