As an online legal document filing service that helps entrepreneurs with an array of startup needs, we get asked a ton of questions from our clients about various topics. We decided to start sourcing these questions and create a new blog post series for our readers, as some of you may be wondering the same thing but haven’t found the answer elsewhere.

Today we are launching our new FAQ series starting on the topic of business licenses. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions on the popular topic followed by answers from our CEO Nellie Akalp.

Business Licenses FAQs

What’s the difference between a business license and registering a business? If I already registered my LLC or corporation, do I still need a business license? 

Registering your business and getting your business license are two different things – and you most likely will need to do both. Registering a new business with the state (either by forming an LLC, corporation, or filing a DBA) provides a legal foundation for your business. Then, the business license(s) gives you the right to operate your business…similar to how a driver’s license lets you drive a car.

How do I know what kind of business licenses I need? 

The specific license and permit requirements vary based on your type of business and your location. As expected, a home contractor or restaurant will have more permit requirements than a web designer. Find your business type on our Business Licenses page to check the specific requirements for your business. If you don’t see your specific business listed, give us a call at 1.888.449.2638 and we’ll help you out.

What are the penalties if I don’t have the right licenses for my business? 

You can face fines, and even have your business shut down if you are caught operating without the right licenses/permit paperwork in place.

How much does it cost to get a business license or permit? 

Exact costs depend on the license type and your location. Find your business type on our Business Licenses page to view the pricing for your particular business license and location.

What if my business is involved in more than one type of activity or has multiple locations?

Each business location and each business type is subject to licensing requirements, so you most likely will need to get the proper permits/licenses for each location and business activity.

How long does a business license last? 

Typically speaking, a business license will last one year (although some locales give you the opportunity to apply for a three-year license). If you sign up for our free B.I.Z. service, we’ll automatically notify you when any licenses are coming up for renewal.

If I change my legal structure, can I keep my old business license? 

No. Any change of legal entity (e.g. if you change from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or corporation) requires a new business license. If you change your legal structure, you will need to apply for a new business license for the new entity.

Can I transfer my business license to a new owner? 

Typically speaking, you cannot transfer a business license from one owner to another. The new owner of the business will need to apply for their own business and specialty licenses.

Do you need help setting up a business license or have a question about another aspect of starting a business? Call the CorpNet.com team today for a free business consultation at 888.449.2638.