When you’re starting a business, one of the first steps is to determine what type of business license or permits you will need, if any. In some cases, you may not need a license at all. For example, a sole proprietorship does not usually require a license, but you can be left open to things like lawsuits or higher taxes when you go this route. Whatever type of business you’re interested in starting, an experienced business formation lawyer can discuss your specific business legal needs with you and help you determine which licenses or permits you may need to obtain.

Types of Business Licenses

There are multiple types of business licenses and they vary in multiple ways, such as industry, location, and size. One of the keys before starting your business is to determine what type of license you may need before you proceed. Here are some of the types of business licenses that you may need to consider:

  • General Business License
  • Special Business License – For some sensitive type businesses
  • Doing Business As (DBA) License – For operating a business under a different name than your own
  • Direct Sales License
  • Municipal and Provincial Licenses
  • Professional/Occupational License – For businesses that offer professional services
  • Federal Business License
  • Sales Tax License


Sometimes you may see “license” and “permit” used interchangeably, but they are different. Like licenses, permits are sometimes required in your area in order to operate a business, especially in certain industries. In general, a permit needs to be obtained for certain safety issues, such as a health permit for serving food products. Permit requirements can vary greatly depending on your local area, so you will want to make sure you are operating within the requirements of your business location. 

Work with a Business Lawyer

Business law is not simple and can be very different from state to state – or even county to county – so it may be beneficial to work with an experienced business lawyer to make sure that you are operating within the law. In order to make sure that you are operating your business within the legal requirements of your area and industry, let a business lawyer who knows the law provide with legal advice and guidance. You don’t need to become a legal expert to start a business, this what lawyer exist for! Contact a law firm today to schedule a consultation to get started and discuss your business legal needs.