General Business Licenses

Businesses are typically required to obtain a license before operating in any jurisdiction.

In addition to industry-specific occupational licenses, companies may also be required to apply for a general business license. General Business licenses are generic licenses that are required for any company regardless of the industry, or the products and services they offer.

Most general business licenses are issued at the county or city level, however, a few states also require licenses. Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Nevada, and Washington all require business entities to obtain a state-level general business license in addition to any required local business licenses. After obtaining a license, it is important to keep up with any ongoing requirements associated with licensure. General business licenses usually need to be renewed annually or biennially, and if entity information changes, an update must be filed in a timely manner.

Companies that provide service across multiple counties or states will likely need to obtain several business licenses. As a full service business licensing provider, Harbor Compliance can help you apply for and maintain your licenses. To learn more, please contact us to start a conversation.

Alabama

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Agency

Initial Application

Fee:

Varies by county.

Form:

Issued at the county level.

Filing Method:

In person or mail.

License Renewal

Fee:

Varies by county.

Form:

Issued at the county level.

Filing Method:

In person or mail.

Due:

Annually by September 30.

Alaska

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Agency

Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing

Initial Application

Fee:

$50 for annual or $100 for biennial.

Form:

Alaska Business License Application

Filing Method:

Mail or Online.

License Renewal

Fee:

$50 for annual or $100 for biennial.

Form:

Alaska Business License Renewal

Filing Method:

Mail or Online.

Due:

Annually or Biennially by December 31 depending on if you paid for one year or two.

Arizona

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Not required

Arizona does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Arkansas

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Not required

Arkansas does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

California

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Not required

Business licensing is conducted at the city level in California.

Colorado

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Not required

Colorado does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Connecticut

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Not required

Connecticut does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Delaware

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Agency

Delaware Department of Finance - Division of Revenue

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$75

Form:

Online

Due:

Annually by December 31.

District of Columbia

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Agency

District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs - Business Licensing Division

Initial Application

Fee:

$324.50 for General Business.

Form:

Either Charitable Solicitation, Charitable Exempt, or General Business in some cases. 

Filing Method:

Mail, In-person, or Online.

License Renewal

Fee:

$324.50 for General Business.

Form:

Either Charitable Solicitation, Charitable Exempt, or General Business in some cases. 

Filing Method:

Mail, In-person, or Online.

Due:

Biennially.

Florida

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Not required

Florida does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Georgia

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Not required

Business licensing is conducted at the city level in Georgia.

Hawaii

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Not required

Hawaii does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Idaho

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Not required

Idaho does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Illinois

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Not required

Illinois does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Indiana

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Not required

Indiana does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Iowa

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Not required

Iowa does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Kansas

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Not required

Kansas does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Kentucky

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Not required

Kentucky does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Louisiana

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Not required

Louisiana does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Maine

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Not required

Maine does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Maryland

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Not required

Maryland does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Massachusetts

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Not required

Massachusetts does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Michigan

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Not required

Michigan does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Minnesota

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Not required

Minnesota does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Mississippi

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Not required

Mississippi does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Missouri

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Not required

Missouri does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Montana

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Not required

Montana does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Nebraska

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Not required

Nebraska does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Nevada

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Agency

Nevada Secretary of State

Initial Application

Fee:

$500 for business corporations and $200 for all other entities.

Form:

Initial/Annual List Application (Applications for most entity types are included with the list of officers filing.)

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

License Renewal

Fee:

$500 for business corporations and $200 for all other entities.

Form:

Initial/Annual List Application (Applications for most entity types are included with the list of officers filing.)

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Due:

File annually along with the annual list of officers. 

New Hampshire

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Not required

New Hampshire does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

New Jersey

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Not required

New Jersey does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

New Mexico

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Not required

New Mexico does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

New York

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Not required

New York does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

North Carolina

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Not required

North Carolina does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

North Dakota

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Not required

North Dakota does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Ohio

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Not required

Ohio does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Oklahoma

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Not required

Oklahoma does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Oregon

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Not required

Oregon does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Pennsylvania

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Not required

Pennsylvania does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Rhode Island

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Not required

Rhode Island does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

South Carolina

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Not required

South Carolina does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

South Dakota

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Not required

South Dakota does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Tennessee

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Not required

Tennessee does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Texas

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Not required

Texas does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Utah

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Not required

There is no state basic business license in Utah, however, all businesses are required to hold a city or county level license.

Vermont

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Not required

Vermont does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Virginia

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Not required

Virginia does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Washington

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Agency

Washington Department of Revenue

Initial Application

Fee:

$19

Form:

Business License Application

Filing Method:

Mail or online

License Renewal

Fee:

$19

Form:

Business License Application

Filing Method:

Mail or online

Due:

Only after changes or updates to the business.

West Virginia

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Not required

West Virginia does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Wisconsin

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Not required

Wisconsin does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

Wyoming

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Not required

Wyoming does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

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